Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Some little known facts about platypus

Posted on 2 July, 2020 by Ivan

There is so much to love about one of our most unusual mammals, the platypus. They almost appear to be a blend of features from other creatures: notably a duck, a beaver and even a rakali. They are often misunderstood because we so rarely see these beautiful water creatures. Males are venomous, with sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet that can deliver a toxic blow to any foe.

Platypus (Berzins 1) Queanbeyan

Based on mark-recapture studies along creeks in Victoria, a platypus home range typically measures 4-11 km (photo: Australian Platypus Conservancy)

The platypus is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ in Australia and on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. For more information and maps of distribution – click here

The Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare Group’s incredible habitat restoration work along Campbells Creek here in central Victoria has improved local conditions for platypus. In late 2019 they worked with the Australian Platypus Conservancy to survey Campbells Creek for platypus and rakali, with results presented at a community workshop in March 2020. The survey identified a number of platypus in Campbells Creek, which was heartening, although results indicated there was not great potential for successful breeding and increase in distribution.

The Australian Platypus Conservancy recently worked with Holbrook Landcare to produce a short video about the platypus and its conservation needs. This video gives a terrific overview of the ecological requirements of this wonderful species and how we can restore our waterways to ensure populations grow into the future. Interestingly, the video notes that foxes are one of the worst predators for the platypus.

The video can be viewed via the image below or on YouTube – click here

For more information about Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare Group and the Platypus project – click here

For more information about the Australian Platypus Conservancy and their survey methods – click here




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