30 June 2023
Welcome to the latest news from PlatypusWatch. While trying to complete her PhD thesis, platypus ecologist Tamielle Brunt and her team have been busy bees these last few months, creating lots of fantastic news to share with you.
ABC News article
Wildlife Queensland’s esteemed platypus ecologist, Tamielle Brunt, recently had the opportunity to share insights about the ongoing platypus eDNA survey in the Brisbane area. In an interview with ABC News, Tamielle highlighted the importance of these surveys in understanding the platypus population and their conservation needs. Read the news article here.
Many individuals responded to the article, sharing their possible sightings of these elusive creatures. PlatypusWatch welcomes such reports and encourages eyewitnesses to provide images if possible.
While some creeks exhibit no platypus DNA, it is worth noting that native rakali or even water dragons might be mistaken for these monotremes. Even skilled project officers have mistaken swimming keelback snakes as platypuses from a distance!
Awarded an EnviroGrant
In more PlatypusWatch news, we are excited to announce that PlatypusWatch was awarded a Logan EnviroGrant, Environmental Partnerships and Capacity Building for a PlatypusWatch community planting day. By joining forces with local residents, the project aims to preserve the delicate ecosystems platypuses call home.
Expanding eDNA surveys
This winter, PlatypusWatch project officers have been conducting eDNA surveys at over 100 sites across Ipswich, Logan, and Brisbane. The team plans to extend their surveying efforts to the Scenic Rim, commencing in July.
“It’s a big year with extensive sampling across the region. This data will result in a platypus occupancy model to understand a percentage of decline across the region and the catchments,” said project officer Tamielle Brunt.
“This can then help us further inform councils with their platypus management plans to maintain and rehabilitate platypus populations.”
Stay tuned for this year’s survey results — could a platypus be living near you?
Citizen scientists help platypus conservation
Last weekend, twenty PlatypusWatch volunteers attended the PlatypusWatch Wolston Centenary Observational Survey. The attendees gathered in the early hours at Pooh Corner Environmental Centre, Wacol, to look for platypus in Sandy and Bullockhead Creeks.
Despite not spotting platypuses during their expedition, the enthusiastic volunteers remained in high spirits, glimpsing other wildlife, including a magnificent white-bellied sea eagle, playful wallabies, and various birds.
Undeterred by the platypus’ absence, the citizen scientists collected environmental DNA (eDNA) samples at ten sites along the creeks. These samples will undergo analysis to detect the presence of platypus DNA. The results are anticipated to be presented to the community in August.
PlatypusWatch hopes to transform this event into an annual celebration of platypus conservation run by the local community. By involving the community in the conservation efforts, PlatypusWatch aims to raise awareness about these unique creatures and inspire individuals to contribute actively to their protection.
Wildlife Queensland sends a big thank you to everyone who attended the PlatypusWatch Wolston Centenary Observational Survey. This project was made possible by the generous support of Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Community, Sustainability and Environment Grants Program.
Check the Wildlife Queensland Events Calendar for any upcoming events near you.
- For information about our conservation work with platypus and to learn more about this elusive monotreme, please visit our PlatypusWatch program page.
- If you spot a platypus in the wild, please report your sighting online via our PlatypusWatch Sighting Form.
- If you’d like to adopt a platypus, please click here.