Choose a time and place

Follow the tips in this toolkit under “How to spot a platypus” to choose a strategic location for your survey.

When hosting a group event, choose a location that can cater for more people (e.g. enough parking spaces for more cars) and with an accessible stretch of river long enough that a group of people can station themselves at intervals along it.

If you can, check out the site before settling on it to ensure its suitability for the group and its accessibility.

Choose a time at dawn or dusk to increase your chances of seeing a platypus, or if that’s difficult you can try your luck at a different time of day.

Create your event on our website

Host your event on the platy-project website so that people in your community can RSVP and join in! It’s an easy way to keep track of RSVPs and to connect with new people in your area.

Visit http://platy-project.acf.org.au and select ‘new event’, then:

  • Fill in the details about the event name, date, time and location
  • Include a description of your event including if there will be food, the exact meeting location, and anything else that’s important for guests to know
  • Once you click submit you’ll receive an email confirming the details of your event
  • Every time someone RSVPs to your event you’ll receive an email notification with their contact details.
Communicate with RSVPs
  • Send an event confirmation text or call RSVPs a couple of days before, confirming the time, date, location and anything they need to bring (e.g. you might suggest that attendees bring food for a picnic at the end).
  • Make sure you let everyone know if you need to cancel the event, for example, due to severe weather.
Hosting the event on the day

Arriving at the location

  • All events need to be COVID-safe. Make sure to follow the current health guidelines in your state.
  • Designate a central meeting place for the group for the day and sign people in as they arrive.

Welcome everyone

  • Start the event by acknowledging the country you’re meeting on. If you’re not sure you can check that here.
  • You might like to share a bit about yourself, the area, and the platy-project.
  • Optional extra: do a name round of the group to acquaint participants with each other.

Brief participants on how to search for a platypus

  • Use the tips in this toolkit to explain what to look out for and how to record findings.
  • If people spread themselves along the waterway, ask them to note down the time that they observe a platypus. This can help determine if it was the same animal that participants saw as it traveled through the waterway.

Start searching!

Encourage people to spread themselves out at intervals along the waterway to have the best chance of seeing a platypus, and allow between 30 minutes to an hour for people to survey.

Share what you’ve seen

Once everyone meets back at home-base, go around and ask people to share what they saw, even if they didn’t get to see a platypus. Double check everyone has good records of what they saw.

This is the perfect time to bust out a platy-picnic

Wrap and follow up

  • Thank your guests for coming, and remember to take a group photo! You might like to upload your photo to social media using the hashtag #PlatyProject
  • Later that day, send an email to attendees thanking them for their time, and remind them to upload the results of their platypus sightings to http://platy-project.acf.org.au/. This is a nice place to include the group photo you took, and perhaps invite them to your next event too!