PlatypusWatch: 20 Years protecting Queensland’s iconic platypus population

PlatypusWatch update Sept 2023

29 September 2023

Wildlife Queensland’s PlatypusWatch program has been monitoring and protecting platypus in Queensland for 20 years!

PlatypusWatch will celebrate this milestone on 22 October 2023 with a Platy Party at Pooh Corner Environmental Centre. Join us for a fun and fact-filled morning, including a walk and talk with ecologist Dr Tamielle Brunt, children’s activities, raffles, and more. Plus, indulge in some delicious birthday cake as you learn about PlatypusWatch’s achievements over two decades.

PlatypusWatch steps up monitoring

The past month has been a whirlwind of activity for the PlatypusWatch team, including:

  • gathering data
  • raising awareness
  • planting platypus habitat to help protect this unique monotreme.

Due to a lack of contemporary systematic surveys, the platypus’s status in Queensland has not been adequately assessed. There are localised declines in particular areas, so more monitoring is needed to determine Queensland’s population distribution.

This season, one of the notable achievements of PlatypusWatch has been the extensive collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) data across southern Queensland. 

The team collected eDNA samples from 290 sites across six Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Queensland, including:

  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Scenic Rim Council.

This marks a significant expansion from the initial six sites surveyed in 2016.

The collected eDNA has been sent for analysis, and we will keep you posted on the results.

Sharing the latest platypus conservation news

PlatypusWatch recently participated in the “Future of the Platypus Conference” held at the Zoos Victoria Healesville Sanctuary. The event showcased inspiring research efforts across different states to protect this iconic species.

“It was great that five of the research topics came out of Queensland,” said project officer Dr Tamielle Brunt.


“The state is behind in platypus research and long-term monitoring compared to southern states. But we are getting there!”

Among the notable speakers were Dr Tom Grant and Dr Peter Temple-Smith, esteemed platypus researchers. A highlight of the conference was Finn, the Wildlife Detection Dog, demonstrating his exceptional tracking skills.

September was also a busy period with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) platy-project. PlatypusWatch partnered with Brisbane City Council and ACF to bring a series of four informative talks about platypus conservation across the city. These encouraged people to gain knowledge of platypuses right in their backyard and record important sighting data on the platy-map.

Planting day protects platypus habitat

The platypus faces numerous challenges, primarily from habitat destruction caused by urban and agricultural developments.

To enhance platypus habitat, PlatypusWatch recently held a successful planting day at Noyer Park, Logan. Twenty dedicated volunteers came together to plant 500 trees, extending the riparian zone of Windaroo Creek. 

This planting effort is crucial for enhancing the integrity of the waterway banks and providing habitat for wildlife, including platypuses. The vegetation acts as a buffer during floods, reduces erosion, and ensures sediment does not smother the platypuses’ food sources or nesting burrows, which can stretch up to 30 metres.

PlatypusWatch would like to thank all the volunteers and the support of the Logan City Council Enviro Grant Partnerships and Capacity Building 2023.

Wildlife Queensland partners with Maleny Chocolate Co. to help platypus

Wildlife Queensland and Maleny Chocolate Co.recently announced a partnership to help support platypus conservation efforts. Maleny Chocolate Co. has created white, dark and milk chocolate platypuses and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to PlatypusWatch. This past month, the public was invited to submit names for the chocolate platypus.

A shortlist of five names will be selected and published on the contest webpage on 3 October 2023. The public will then have the chance to vote for their favourite name from the shortlist between 3 October and 16 October 2023. Votes must be lodged via the voting form on the contest webpage. 

The name that receives the most votes will be declared the winner. A second prize winner will be randomly drawn from all voters, irrespective of their chosen vote. The winning name and prize winners will be officially announced at our Platy Party.

Thank you PlatypusWatch

The success of PlatypusWatch lies in the unwavering dedication of its team (particularly Dr Tamielle Brunt), the support of local communities, and the commitment to protect one of Australia’s most unique animals. By coming together and taking proactive steps, we can ensure that the platypus continues to grace our waterways for generations.

You can HELP platypus by:

  1. Looking after your waterways:  protect riparian habitat — plant native plants to stabilise banks.>
  2. Reducing water consumption: platypus rely upon permanent water!
  3. Picking up rubbish and cutting plastic rings (rubber bands, hair ties).
  4. Fishing responsibly: use wildlife-friendly yabby traps — platypus drown in enclosed yabby traps.

More information

  • For information about our conservation work with platypus, please visit our PlatypusWatch program page.
  • If you spot a platypus in the wild, please report your sighting online via our
  • Symbolically adopt a platypus.
  • Book a ticket to the PlatypusWatch Platy Party


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