Platypus census

Platypus in the wild

Platypus can be found in rivers and creeks throughout Melbourne — but being very shy creatures, it's difficult to know how many live in a specific waterway.

With your help, we can build our knowledge of local platypus populations and manage our waterways to support them into the future.

Report your sightings on PlatypusSPOT

Did you know: the best time to spot platypus is at dawn and dusk during autumn and spring, but you can see them at any time? 

Help build a better understanding of this elusive animal by reporting your own platypus sightings on the PlatypusSPOT website, or via the app.

Download for iOS Download for Android

Our conservation and research

Learn how platypus are monitored, what threats they face and how we're helping to protect them.

Water sampling for platypus DNA

Did you know we can survey platypus numbers from a simple water sample? We work with community groups along Monbulk Creek and Werribee River to collect water samples in spring and autumn so we can track local platypus populations.

Citizen scientists can find out about our process for collecting platypus' environmental DNA (eDNA) in the following video. 

Other ways you can help

Simple changes in behaviour can help reduce platypus deaths. You can play your part by:

  • picking up litter to prevent entanglement
  • keeping dogs on a leash around waterways
  • picking up after your dog to prevent water pollution
  • report the use off illegal Opera House nets via 24/7 phone line: Reporting illegal fishing - 13FISH 
  • always taking all fishing line home to prevent entanglement
  • installing a water tank or raingarden to reduce stormwater pollution
  • never putting anything down a stormwater drain

Education resources

Puddles the platypus (F-Year 2)

Waterbug and platypus adaptations (Years 5-6)

Waterwatch activity sheets (F-Year 6)

Waterwatch activity and colouring sheets

Contact us

For more information on any of our activities or programs:

Last updated:
9 June 2020