People in this country love getting out into nature and keeping an eye out for our iconic animals like the platypus.
So it’s no wonder the platy-project struck such a chord this September. Over a thousand people headed down to their local creek or river to try to spot a platypus and recorded what they saw. Spotters enjoyed rejuvenating nature-time and a real opportunity to help us better understand and protect this deeply treasured creature.
Sightings stretch from Yungaburra in Far North Queensland, to the Huon Valley in Southern Tasmania, to Adelaide to the West.
Here’s a snapshot of the people bringing the platy-project to life and some of their incredible photos.
Would you like to try to spot a platypus to help researchers better understand and protect them? Sign up here for resources and tips for spotting a platypus and head down to a waterway near you anytime!
“It’s a community-based, citizen science project – so it's not all, you know, environmental biologists. It's just regular people all coming together for a combined purpose, that's what drew me into it.” – Sabrina.
“It's really amazing to see what citizen science can do for both individuals and the environment. The data you receive from it is absolutely outstanding, but also what it does to the individual is it gives people the opportunity to actually get back into nature, to be aware of what they're looking at, and to fully immerse themselves in the experience." – Nick.
"We already go on evening walks a lot of the time, just to enjoy the outdoors. We saw [on the platy-project map] that there were a couple of sightings recently. So it'd be really nice to get out there more in the evenings – enjoy nature and keep an eye out. It'd be nice to hopefully contribute to the project, even if we don't see anything." – Justin and Annalise.
The devastating impacts of damage to nature and our climate have been in sharp focus this year, with communities right across our eastern states experiencing extreme rainfall and flooding. We stand with all affected by disasters that will impact people and wildlife for years to come.
“We started with a talk about platypus, why they are so special, and where they live. We then spoke about extinction, threatened species and why caring for nature is so important.
The creek was up and flowing fast and muddy after rain, and even though there were weedy grasses along the river bank, there was an over story of native shrubs and trees.
We spread out along the creek, sat as quietly as a group of excited 5 year olds can, and watched for tell tale signs of a platypus”. – Jess, parent.
With habitat destruction, bushfires, floods, drought and pollution putting this Aussie icon under pressure, we must act now. Every sighting and attempted sighting plays a crucial role in better understanding and protecting the platypus, so that it can thrive far into the future.
Inspired? You can look for platypus at any time of year. Sign up to get resources and tips for spotting a platypus and get out there!
[button link="http://www.acf.org.au/platy-project-signup" text="I'll look for a platypus"]
Banner image: J Davey, Sunshine Coast Region.