The community is encouraged to head to a local creek or waterway and report platypus sightings to help protect what is one of Australia’s most unique animals.
The ‘Platy Project’ is a national citizen-science program run by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) throughout September to survey platypus populations around the country.
By visiting a local creek or waterway and keeping an eye out for the famously shy monotreme, the community can contribute to the national map of platypus sightings.
There are many sites in the Bundaberg Region where patient locals may be lucky enough to see a platypus, including along the Burnett River and Stockyard Creek outside of Childers.
Australian Conservation Foundation Nature Campaigner Peta Bulling said engaging the community was an important strategy in platypus protection.
“With platypus populations sadly declining, you can play an important role in helping platypus researchers better understand where this much-loved (but very elusive) animal lives, and how they can be better protected,” she said.
WYLD Projects Indigenous Corporation General Manager Brad Crosbie said he often spotted platypus and other wildlife while out undertaking conservation and protection activities for the critically endangered white throated snapping turtle.
“Whilst out and about on the Burnett River we look forward to encountering platypus,” Brad said.
“These early morning moments are very special as there are very few areas we encounter them, and we cherish our short experiences with them.”
Bundaberg Regional Council is supporting the Platy Project by conducting surveys in natural areas throughout the region during September.
The ACF website contains information about where platypus have been spotted previously and where they are in decline and is a helpful starting point for community members wanting to contribute to the project.