sustainability through science & innovation

End of the drought for our parched platypuses

10 Feb 2011

Melbourne hit above average rainfall in 2010 for the first time in 13 years and with relatively high platypus catch rates it appears that our local platypuses are happy about it! As part of the Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program, cesar implemented a series of platypus surveys during Spring 2010 helping to identify the impact of increased rainfall on platypus populations. Encouragingly this work yielded the highest platypus catch rates in a number of years.

The platypus is a semi aquatic mammal and relies on waterways for food and habitat. The 2010 rainfall increased flows and water levels in our waterways and many smaller creeks experienced permanent water for the first time in a number of years. This is a positive sign for Melbourne’s platypuses after many years of drought and declining catch rates (see: A decline in population numbers for the evasive platypus).

The Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program continues into the 2011 year with the next season of surveys being undertaken by cesar in the autumn period.

Want to learn more?

cesar’s Wildlife Ecology team is dedicated to the conservation of Australian native wildlife. If you would like further information about platypuses or other wildlife management programs please contact us on 03 9349 4723 or visit our Wildlife Ecology section.