The platypus is one of Australia’s most amazing animals. Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that its numbers are declining. We urgently need to know where platypus live – where they are common and from where they have disappeared.
PlatypusWatch is a community-based program that aims to document where platypus occur so that we can develop a reliable ‘snapshot’ of platypus populations.
We will use this information to identify where conservation actions are needed – now and in the future – to protect this very special animal.
Platypus live up and down the east coast of Australia and inland from the Dividing Range but we know little of how many live where.
With PlatypusWatch, anyone in Queensland who shares their habitat with platypus can keep an eye out for these amazing monotremes and tell us what they see. Our PlatypusWatch records are entered into a database that is used only for genuine conservation purposes. If we learn where platypus live, we can help plan for appropriate development that is less likely to impact on our platypus populations.
Sharing your knowledge about platypus sightings with PlatypusWatch will not cause any problems for the animals concerned. Indeed, the biggest problem facing platypus conservation is human ignorance – starting with the fact that people are often unaware that their actions can have a major impact on animals living nearby.
Kids – read about the life of Pebbles our friendly platypus in the Platypus Diary
Have you ever seen a platypus in the wild? If so, you can make a valuable contribution to PlatypusWatch by telling us about your previous and recent sightings using the PlatypusWatch Form.
Would you like to see a platypus in the wild? Come and join a platypus survey. Wildlife Queensland promotes community involvement in conservation and occasionally run surveys to document local platypus populations. Contact us for further details.
If you have a story to share about where and when you saw a platypus, send it to Platypus Splashes along with a picture if you have one, and we may publish it on our website.
Latest news and information
April 2013 – PlatypusWatch
Across April, we trained and directed 93 volunteers to survey for platypus in Enoggera and Tingalpa Creeks. The last sightings in these creeks were in 2006 and 2009, and we are aiming to establish whether the platypus populations have persisted. Read about the survey experience here.
At this stage we have not had a confirmed sighting, however we have five more surveys to complete before platypus are presumed to no longer occur in these creeks. While we still hold hope, this data will be valuable for the Australian Platypus Conservancy in either case.
The surveys were certainly not without wildlife however – we did enjoy sightings of a superb fairy wren, Lewin’s honeyeater, laughing kookaburra, and sacred kingfisher. Other animals that were spotted included the eastern water dragon, swamp wallaby, monitor lizard and sugar glider. Following the survey, as a thank you to our volunteers, we cooked them a hot breakfast or supper!
Once again, Wildlife Queensland extends a big thank you to everyone who took part as this program would not run without the support of volunteers like you.
Publications and information
- Looking out for Platypus – contact us for your free brochure
Since the launch of PlatypusWatch (previously known as PlatypusCare) by Wildlife Queensland in 2003, many groups, individuals and universities have embraced the focus on platypus by undertaking their own surveys, monitoring and research (some are listed below).
- Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council
- Gold Coast Catchment Association
- Moggill Creek Catchment Group
- Oxley Creek Catchment Association
- Pullen Pullen Catchment Group
- Save our Waterways Now – Enoggera Creek
- University of Queensland Cool Pools
- Western Catchments
- WPSQ Bayside Branch
- WPSQ Pine Rivers Branch
For more information on WPSQ’s projects, email or phone +61 (7) 3221 0194.