WARRNAMBOOL residents have been asked to keep a look out for the elusive platypus in the Merri River.
September is Platypus Watch Month and Warrnambool City Council and MAD for the Merri have joined forces to track the location, behaviour and numbers of the animals on the Merri River.
Council’s Merri River facilitator Karen Wales said more information about the platypus population would enable improvements to the river to ensure better chances of survival.
“At present there are few recorded sightings of platypus along the Merri River and its northern tributaries, but we know they are in there,” she said.
“A healthy platypus population will be a significant indicator that the Merri River’s health and habitat value is improving.
“When we know where they are, we can plant more native trees, shrubs and ground covers down to the water’s edge, which provides food sources and places to hide and also stabilises the banks for burrows.”
Not many people have been lucky enough to sight the notoriously hard-to-spot creature.
The mysterious mammal can easily be mistaken for a stick or driftwood as it floats down rivers and creeks.
Platypus watchers are encouraged to download the platypus sighting report and submit details of any confirmed platypus sightings in the Merri River to council’s website www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au in September.