Spring triggers platypus activity at Scottsdale

Published 09 Sep 2014 
about  Scottsdale Reserve  
Platypus floating at surface of the water. <br/>Photo courtesy of Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch. Platypus floating at surface of the water.
Photo courtesy of Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch.
The collaborative approach of key partners. <br/>Helping to protect high quality riverine ecosystems of the upper Murrumbidgee River. The collaborative approach of key partners.
Helping to protect high quality riverine ecosystems of the upper Murrumbidgee River.
Scottsdale Reserve platypus survey site.<br/>Carp trapping will also occur here later in the year (using a trap that is safe for platypus). Scottsdale Reserve platypus survey site.
Carp trapping will also occur here later in the year (using a trap that is safe for platypus).
Adventure volunteers start the day with a safety briefing by river guide, Richard Swain.<br/> Adventure volunteers start the day with a safety briefing by river guide, Richard Swain.
Part of each day is making sure adventure volunteers can negotiate fast flowing waters.<br/>Platypus may also be seen popping up every now and then! Part of each day is making sure adventure volunteers can negotiate fast flowing waters.
Platypus may also be seen popping up every now and then!
You'd be smiling too if you saw that many platypus in one day.<br/> You'd be smiling too if you saw that many platypus in one day.

Spring has triggered a spurt of activity in the upper Murrumbidgee River as Platypus pre-breeding activity ramps up at Scottsdale Reserve.

A recent platypus survey at the Reserve found at least three platypus were utilising the survey site. The survey confirmed that the river at Scottsdale Reserve is home to multiple individuals, which is great news because platypus numbers are a directly correlated with river health, food sources and habitat availability.

Repeat surveys will be undertaken to track platypus numbers in future years, which may even increase in response to Scottsdale Reserve’s carp trapping program, as carp eat the same water bugs that platypus do.

The warmer weather has also renewed activity amongst local adventurous volunteers, participating in the next round of canoe days as part of a current Fish Habitat Action Grant (FHAG) project.

This project involves teams of canoeists paddling the river to control emerging willows (Willow Warrior style) on 45km of the upper Murrumbidgee River, including the Bredbo Gorge, which adjoins Scottsdale Reserve. Bush Heritage Australia is a supporter of this project not only as a landholder, but as a key partner of the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach (UMDR) initiative, which is running the project in order to help protect the upper Murrumbidgee River for native fish conservation and of course for other wildlife such as platypus!

However… not to side track from the most important theme of this blog - adventurers participating in the first spring canoe day held on the 6th of September (paddling 15km downstream of Scottsdale Reserve) reported up to 20 platypus sightings on their travels, including observing a group of three platypus larking about, or perhaps courting, in front of their boats in one particular pool. Testimony to the fact that helping support the health of the upper Murrumbidgee River is definitely worth the effort!

See my last post about a baby platypus rescue on our previous trip!

The collaborative approach of key partners. <br/>Helping to protect high quality riverine ecosystems of the upper Murrumbidgee River. The collaborative approach of key partners.
Helping to protect high quality riverine ecosystems of the upper Murrumbidgee River.
Scottsdale Reserve platypus survey site.<br/>Carp trapping will also occur here later in the year (using a trap that is safe for platypus). Scottsdale Reserve platypus survey site.
Carp trapping will also occur here later in the year (using a trap that is safe for platypus).
Adventure volunteers start the day with a safety briefing by river guide, Richard Swain.<br/> Adventure volunteers start the day with a safety briefing by river guide, Richard Swain.
Part of each day is making sure adventure volunteers can negotiate fast flowing waters.<br/>Platypus may also be seen popping up every now and then! Part of each day is making sure adventure volunteers can negotiate fast flowing waters.
Platypus may also be seen popping up every now and then!
You'd be smiling too if you saw that many platypus in one day.<br/> You'd be smiling too if you saw that many platypus in one day.