Recording Platypus in the Wild
Information relating to the distribution and status of platypus populations should be an essential element of catchment management plans and local biodiversity conservation strategies.
In part, this reflects the fact that the platypus is a valuable indicator of waterway health. Keeping track of changes in platypus numbers therefore provides useful information relating to how river and creek habitats are faring through time.
As well, compelling evidence indicates that platypus numbers have declined or disappeared in many waterways across the species’ range. There is consequently an urgent need to identify threatened populations so timely conservation action plans can be formulated.
The Australian Platypus Conservancy has developed a number of programs to help map and monitor platypus populations.
It is important that people start to watch for platypus in their local area. A few hints on platypus spotting are given to improve your chances of seeing one.
To contribute to consistent record keeping through time, the APC maintains an ongoing database of reliable platypus sightings records.
Secondly, the APC’s community-based Platypus Count project provides a framework for monitoring local platypus populations, based on sightings made by individuals using a standardised survey method.
In addition, Platypus Group Watch provides guidelines for teams of volunteers to keep track of how many platypus are active in one or more sections of stream or river channel.
Lastly, APC staff carry out live-trapping surveys when this is necessary to develop a detailed view of platypus population structure and dynamics.