Platypusses (not platypi)

To: "COG List" <>
Subject: Platypusses (not platypi)
From: "Tony Lawson" <>
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 15:51:58 +1000
Expanding on Martin's missive, here are details of forthcoming Platypus Count activities in the region.
From: Noakes, Tanya
Sent: Thursday, 7 May 2009 12:40 PM
Subject: Platypus Watching and Counting with Waterwatch in May... please pass on!


ACT Waterwatch, in partnership with the Australian Platypus Conservancy will be providing two free public programs on platypus on the weekend of May 23-24.

New to the expanding ACT platypus monitoring program will be Platypus Watch.  The Platypus Watch program is designed for rural landholders, waterwatchers, landcarers or nature enthusiasts who visit their sites on a monthly or irregular basis. Platypus Watch will be launched at 3:30 pm on May 23 under Tharwa Bridge.  There, Platypus Watchers will be trained, and gather initial Platypus Watch observation data for the ACT region.  Participants need to pre-book for this event by contacting Tanya Rucosky Noakes via email, or by calling 6207-2246.  Please wear sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing and bring binoculars, if you have them, plus a pen.

ACT Waterwatch will also be hosting an information session about Platypus Count on Sunday 24 May 2.30 pm at the Queanbeyan Kangaroos Leagues Club, on the corner of Stuart Street & Richard Avenue, in Queanbeyan.  Dr. Melody Serena from the Australian Platypus Conservancy will give an illustrated talk about the platypus?s unusual biological features and describe the ACT Platypus Count program for those who may wish to become involved.  This program is designed to monitor platypus at a given site on a daily or weekly basis, and is an excellent and easy way for joggers, cyclists and walkers to become involved in the conservation of their favourite places. Sign-ups are not required for this program.

Platypus are often thought of as shy and elusive.  ?In actual fact,? says Conservancy biologist Dr Melody Serena, ?they can occur fairly close to residential areas and are reasonably easy to spot.  We are hoping to find people to watch for platypus in their local waterway (especially the Molonglo and Queanbeyan rivers) and record their sightings.  By systematically recording platypus sightings over time it should also become possible to monitor how well populations are coping and to plan conservation actions on their behalf.?

Very little is currently known about how this iconic Australian species is actually faring in rivers, creeks and lakes in and around the ACT.  To address this issue, ACT Waterwatch and the Australian Platypus Conservancy recently joined forces to monitor this fascinating animal and are looking for more volunteers to help.

Tanya Rucosky Noakes, the ACT Waterwatch Facilitator, said that platypus are generally easiest to see in places where the water surface is fairly flat and calm, so ripples created when the animals swim and dive stand out.  It normally only take a few minutes of scanning to determine whether a platypus is active in the area. ?Most volunteers can easily combine looking for platypus with their routine walk, jog or cycle ride, so the time commitment is not great,? said Tanya.  

For further information contact:

Australian Platypus Conservancy:

Geoff Williams 03 5157 5568  Email:

ACT Waterwatch Facilitator

Tanya Rucosky Noakes

GPO Box 158

Canberra ACT 2601


Subject: [canberrabirds] Platypussies

This isn't about birds, but they have a bill and lay eggs, so close enough. 

I have received a couple of notices about Platypus Watch an initiative to record information about this species. should have the details.  I have also established that they are interested in incidental sightings being reported to giving whatever info you can provide (but lat longs, date and time and the name of the watercourse in which they are frolicing seem rather basic). 

I have reported the one the Weds Walkers saw near Kambah Pool last month and the one seen in the Queanbeyan River on a Field trip to Yanununbeyan NR/NP/CA in 2007 and recall folk seeing one off the footbridge in Jerrabombera - but didn't personally see that one so have not done anything about it.

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