Platypus Census

Platypus occur in a number of rivers and creeks throughout Melbourne.​​

For over 20 years, we have surveyed platypus every autumn and spring as part of the Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program.

However, being very shy creatures, it can be difficult to confirm how many platypus live in any given waterway, so we encourage the public to contribute their own platypus sightings via platypusSPOT.

Our unique platypus flyer

​Spotted a platypus?

With the help of your sightings and observations, we can build a better understanding of local platypus populations, which will allow us to effectively manage our waterways for them into the future.

The best time to spot platypus is around dawn and dusk during autumn and spring, but you may observe them at any time.

You can report your sightings, observations and photos of platypus to: 

Waterwatch short film 

Learn about how Melbourne Water and the community look after local platypus populations.

Community engagement

The Waterwatch program raises awareness of platypus and conservation issues throughout key platypus areas. This includes:
  • running information sessions
  • festival stalls and other activities
  • working with partner councils and community organisations.
Our goal is to reduce platypus deaths due to human activities, through simple changes in behaviour.
We encourage and support the community to get involved with platypus conservation in their local area.
If you have an idea for a platypus program in your area, please contact us.

Citizen science

Working with community groups along the Monbulk Creek and Werribee River, we are tracking platypus populations by using environmental DNA (eDNA).
This involves taking samples of water and analysing them for fragments of platypus DNA. 
We collect these samples twice per year, during the platypus breeding season (spring) and after juvenile platypus have emerged from their burrows (autumn).
Please contact us if you would like to be involved in this program.

Threats to platypus 

You can take simple actions to reduce threats to our local platypus populations:
  • pick up litter to prevent entanglement
  • keep dogs on a leash around waterways
  • pick up after your dog to prevent water pollution
  • never use Opera House Nets to catch yabbies, as they can drown platypus
  • always take all fishing line home to prevent entanglement
  • install a water tank or rain garden to reduce the impacts of storm water on waterways
  • never put anything down a storm water drain, it is only for rain.

​Your feedback

For more information on any of our activities or programs:

Did you know?

There is currently no official name for the baby platypus.


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