Platypus in water

August is Platypus Month, so get out there and get spotting.

13 August 2020

Are you an early riser? Perhaps you’ve thought about getting out and about during Canberra’s frosty winter mornings, but never had a good enough reason to do so.

Well, now you do.

Pack your gloves, warm clothes, and binoculars because August is Platypus Month, and Waterwatch is looking for volunteer spotters.

With no experience required, you can help count these fluffy Australian icons.

Platypus Month is running into its seventh year, and the survey continues to grow in popularity. Last year more than 170 volunteers participated in 22 surveys at five locations across the region.

In 2020, the number of sites has expanded to 34 locations and include the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, the Molonglo River near Coppins Crossing, and on the Murrumbidgee River at Point Hut Crossing.

The group surveys on selected rivers in the ACT region help inform land managers and researchers about the platypus population.

“These surveys give us an understanding of platypus numbers in rivers and creeks in Canberra and the surrounding region. It’s not the presence or absence of platypus we’re looking at, but rather the number of animals we find in a given stretch of river,” Regional Waterwatch Facilitator Woo O’Reilly said.

Winter is the ideal time for spotting platypus as they spend more time feeding and the males are out preparing for the breeding season.

The one-hour surveys take place in the mornings and afternoons, so if you really can’t be dragged out of bed, you can still choose to go later in the afternoon.

For those who can’t make the surveys, but would like to see a platypus, Waterwatch is also hosting a free walk from 7am to 8am on Sunday, 16 August, starting from the Isabella Street footbridge in Queanbeyan.

The ACT Government provides funding to Waterwatch to help monitor and protect our waterways and native species.

If you’re interested in helping out with the surveys, email waterwatch@act.gov.au.

For more information about survey times go to www.act.waterwatch.org.au.

All Canberra

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