Australian Platypus Conservancy

MSplat WimmeraThe Australian Platypus Conservancy is a non-profit environmental organisation that was set up in 1994 to conserve the platypus and its freshwater habitats. The Conservancy was established at a time when the platypus’s status and environmental needs were very poorly known. A summary of the Conservancy’s achievements in its first 25 years of operation can be found in Platypus News & Views no. 75.

The Conservancy’s foremost aim is to link research findings with community actions to protect and strengthen platypus and Australian water-rat (or rakali) populations. It co-operates with management agencies, universities, businesses, community groups and schools to ensure that research findings are used to initiate and support practical actions on behalf of these animals and their habitats.

The Conservancy conducts projects to:

  • Learn more about the status of platypus populations and their ecological requirements
  • Identify the factors that are chiefly responsible for limiting population size and survival
  • Develop and improve methods for platypus survey and monitoring
  • Map the status and distribution of the Australian water-rat/rakali

Current priority programs include:

Australian Platypus Monitoring Network.  A ‘next gen’ citizen science initiative to monitor local platypus populations using standardised visual survey techniques (see

Platypus Flows Requirements.  Research to investigate how floods and droughts affect platypus mortality, movements and reproductive success and to identify key attributes of platypus refuges.

Reducing Platypus Deaths in Yabby Traps.  A program to eliminate deaths of platypus (and other air-breathing wildlife) in enclosed yabby traps, such as opera house traps. In particular, the results of platypus behavioural trials in different trap designs conducted by the Conservancy over several years in co-operation with Dr Tom Grant (University of New South Wales) made an important contribution to the Victorian government’s decision to ban use of such traps from July 2019 (with several other jurisdictions continuing to progress towards achieving the same outcome).

Community Monitoring of the Australian Water-rat/Rakali.  A community-based initiative to map the status of water-rats progressively on a catchment-by-catchment basis.


The Conservancy is a registered environmental charity with full tax-deductible (DGR) status. Its work is supported by management agencies, philanthropic trusts, community groups, schools, sponsors and interested individuals who care about the future of the platypus. If you would like to contribute to platypus and water-rat conservation efforts, please contact the Conservancy for details of how you can donate.

Australian Platypus Conservancy (ABN 64 255 612 676)

PO Box 115, Campbells Creek VIC 3451

(03) 5416 1478        Email: