Volunteers undertake huge Platypus surveys!

Published 22 Oct 2016 
about  Scottsdale Reserve  
Reserve Manager Phil Palmer briefing volunteers.<br/> Reserve Manager Phil Palmer briefing volunteers.
Early risers are rewarded with Platypus sightings.<br/> Early risers are rewarded with Platypus sightings.
.....as are the cheeky antics of the Water Rat!<br/> .....as are the cheeky antics of the Water Rat!
Thank you to all the volunteers who took part.<br/> Thank you to all the volunteers who took part.
Alistair spotting a Platypus.<br/> Alistair spotting a Platypus.
Perfect conditions for the survey!<br/> Perfect conditions for the survey!
Platypus are a joy to observe in the wild....<br/> Platypus are a joy to observe in the wild....

We're not talking about surveying a huge Platypus, but about the huge effort Bush Heritage volunteers and Scottsdale Reserve Manager Phil Palmer have put in to support the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch’s Platypus surveys this year!

Scottsdale Reserve has been a Waterwatch Platypus survey site for 3 years, but in previous years it was only surveyed once per season. This year the site was surveyed 6 times – morning and evening over three consecutive days by a dedicated team of up to 12 volunteers on each survey.

This, by the way, was no mean feat in the cold August mornings and early evenings of the Monaro!

Volunteers were richly rewarded though. There were plenty of Platypus about and the river turned out perfectly still conditions, making spotting and observing the frolicking Platypus a treat.

Not to be outdone, a Water Rat was also observed, swimming along close to the river bank, quite unperturbed by volunteers at their survey stations.

The Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Platypus survey program utilises the group survey method developed by the Australian Platypus Conservancy. By repeating the surveys each year, trends across years can be compared. Platypus numbers are directly related to water quality and availability of food and habitat resources.

This year’s Scottsdale survey supports anecdotal reports that there seems to have been an increase in platypus numbers in the Murrumbidgee in recent years. Compared to the previous years, this year's survey recorded twice as many Platypus as previous years. The fact that the surveys were repeated several times this year also means the reliability of the data is increased.

Early risers are rewarded with Platypus sightings.<br/> Early risers are rewarded with Platypus sightings.
.....as are the cheeky antics of the Water Rat!<br/> .....as are the cheeky antics of the Water Rat!
Thank you to all the volunteers who took part.<br/> Thank you to all the volunteers who took part.
Alistair spotting a Platypus.<br/> Alistair spotting a Platypus.
Perfect conditions for the survey!<br/> Perfect conditions for the survey!
Platypus are a joy to observe in the wild....<br/> Platypus are a joy to observe in the wild....