Some current and recent Australian Platypus Conservancy projects include:
Reducing Platypus Deaths in Yabby Traps
A program to reduce the bycatch of platypus (and other species, such as Australian water-rats and turtles) in opera house yabby traps. The work includes field trials of alternative designs of traps to establish whether they might offer a method of yabbying with less risk to other species. It also involves liaison with state and territory fishing agencies and other angling stake-holders. For more information see the PDF Platypus Deaths in Yabby Traps.
Major sponsor: Taronga Conservation Society
Research partner: Dr Tom Grant ( University of NSW ).
A program to monitor the status of platypus and Australian water-rats along selected waterways, including the Yarra River, conducted by volunteer observers using standardised techniques.
Major sponsor: EPA Victoria’s Inspiring Environmental Solutions Program.
Albury Platypus Study
The first-ever project to monitor the status of platypus and Australian water-rats along the Murray River, conducted by APC biologists and volunteer observers at Albury-Wodonga using standardised techniques.
Major sponsor: Norske Skog.
Capital Region Platypus Program
A project to monitor the status of platypus and Australian water-rats in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding region, conducted by volunteer observers using standardised techniques and by collection of platypus sightings during an annual Capital Region Platypus Month.
Platypus Monitoring by Community Groups
A project to investigate the status of platypus and water-rats using Friends, Landcare and similar community environmental organisations to conduct regular group observation sessions along their local waterways.
Major sponsor: Sara Halvedene Foundation.
Queanbeyan Platypus Awareness and Conservation Strategy
Development of a conservation strategy for Queanbeyan City Council that has platypus and Australian water-rats living very close to the city centre. The PACS will form part of the overall plan of management for the Queanbeyan River .
Major sponsor: Queanbeyan City Council.
Contract partner: Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd.
Gunbower Creek Platypus Mapping Project
A project to evaluate the status of distribution of platypus along the Gunbower Creek system – a branch of the Murray River – based on interviews with local land-holders.
Major sponsor: North Central Catchment Management Authority.
Platypus Reintroduction Project
The first ever attempt to re-establish a platypus population along a waterway where the species has gone locally extinct. Platypus disappeared from Cardinia Creek after the huge 1983 bush-fires; however, the waterway environment is now fully recovered from the effects of this disaster.
In April 2004, surplus juveniles were translocated from a nearby waterway in the first stage of a project to bring platypus back to Cardinia Creek. Radio-tracking showed that all animals adapted well to their now home. In view of the success of this initial phase, additional animals were progressively added to Cardinia Creek. Routine breeding is now occurring, suggesting that a viable breeding population is becoming established.
Partner: Cardinia Catchment Landcare.
Platypus in Fire and Floods
A major research project to study the short and long-term impacts on platypus of the massive fires and floods which occurred in 2006/07 in Gippsland.
Major sponsors: Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment and Parks Victoria.
Platypus Care Program
A project to map the current status and distribution of platypus by collecting reports of platypus sightings from the community.
Major sponsor: State Government of Victoria .
Other sponsors: Corangamite, Glenelg-Hopkins, Goulburn Broken, North Central, North East, West Gippsland and Wimmera Catchment Management Authorities, and Melbourne Water.
Community Monitoring of the Australian Water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) in Victoria
A community-based monitoring program is establishing the current status of water-rats on a catchment-by-catchment basis in Victoria. Practical action will then be initiated to counter threats to the long-term survival of vulnerable populations of this attractive native mammal.
Major sponsor: The Norman Wettenhall Foundation
Yarra Ranges Platypus Conservation Strategy
Development of a conservation strategy for the Shire of Yarra Ranges that has some of Victoria’s most threatened platypus populations within its boundaries.
Major sponsor: Shire of Yarra Ranges .
Wimmera Platypus Conservation Strategy
Development of a conservation strategy for the Wimmera, a region that has some of Victoria’s most threatened platypus populations within its boundaries.
Major sponsor: Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.
Platypus Health and Disease Monitoring
A wide range of inter-related studies to inspect and record the physical condition of platypus, test for disease and monitor general health.
Major sponsors: West Doncaster Veterinary Centre, IDEXX, Microchips Australia , Abbott Laboratories and Austvet.
Platypus Weight Variation
Analysis of variation in platypus weight and condition.
Major sponsor: Salter Weightronix.
Platypus Diving Behaviour
Observational study of diving capabilities and behaviour of platypus in the wild.
Major sponsor: Carl Zeiss.
Platypus Education Program
Classroom visits to schools in Melbourne and regional Victoria to teach about platypus and freshwater conservation issues. The Conservancy has also participated in the Victorian Government’s Scientists-in-Schools Program with a special project in conjunction with Darraweit Guim Primary School.
Sponsors: Australian Ethical Investments, VicForests, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, EPA Victoria’s Inspiring Environmental Solutions Program,
“Conserving Platypus and Water-rats” CD-Rom
Production of a CD-Rom on platypus conservation issues for circulation to management agencies, municipalities, conservation groups and schools.
Major sponsor: Fouress Foundation.
“Caring for Platypus” Information Leaflet
Production of a leaflet on platypus protection issues, especially litter entanglement problems, for circulation to management agencies, municipalities, conservation groups and schools.
Major sponsor: Australian Geographic Society.
Platypus Research & Conservation Centre
Operation of a Platypus Research & Conservation Centre at Deep Creek, near Bruthen, to service the Conservancy’s research, education and community action programs.
Initial sponsors: Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Sidney Myer Fund.