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!

Sabrina and Nick spotting at the Mullum Mullum Creek in Melbourne's East. Photo: Cathy Ronalds.

“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.

Golden hour, Gold Coast region. Photo: M Lane.

A platypus diving. Footage: M Vaughan.

Platypus spotters Justin and Annaliese

Platypus spotters Justin and Annaliese, Photo: Cathy Ronalds.

"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.

Platypus sightings in major city suburbs.

Major city sightings. Two great examples that platypus are right at home in the suburbs. Left: K Robinson, North East Brisbane. Right: D Hudspeth, Eastern Melbourne.

A group of spotters have a chat before heading down to the creek.

You can spot platypus with friends and family, by yourself, or as part of a larger group event like this one (one event in Melbourne attracted 70 platypus spotters alone!) Photo: Cathy Ronalds.

A speedy platypus swimming up a creek.

A speedy platypus, Brisbane West. Footage: S Meyers.

A platypus caught in a flooding creek, photographed from a footbridge in Gundagai, NSW.

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.

A kinder group with parents in Melbourne's inner north surveying their local Darebin Creek.

“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.

A platypus in muddy waters.

Telltale 'v' shaped ripples. Photo: M Clough.

An image of the platy-project map showing the location of all the sightings.

Platypus sightings on the platy-project map (the blue dots are sightings from the platy-project).
A platypus scratching! Far North Queensland. Photo: P Halliday.

A platypus climbs over a rock.

A fantastic photo of a platy (centre of image) disguised as a rock, South West Victoria. Credit: Z Assouad.
A platypus biting another platypus's tale. Sunshine Coast Region. Photo: R Huckstepp.

A platypus glides through ripples in the water, South Coast NSW. Photo: L Pollard.

Platypus.

Photo: N Andison.

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.

Tom Grindrod

Digital Campaigner