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Wimmera CMA

Street Address:
24 Darlot Street, Horsham, 3400
(enter via Gleed St)

Postal Address:
PO Box 479, Horsham, VIC, 3402
Phone: (03) 5382 1544
Fax: (03) 5382 6076
Email: wcma@wcma.vic.gov.au
 
Office Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 5:00pm
(excluding Public Holidays and Christmas - New Year Closure.  Office may also be closed for short periods Monday mornings)

Article

PB & J Breakfast Discussions

Apr 16, 2021


 
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Platypus, Breakfast & Josh

Platypus conservation breakfast to discuss the Wimmera platypus recovery plan.

Date: Wednesday April 21 Time: 7.30am

Location: ‘Caelli’ shearing shed, 2571 Northern Grampians Road (near The Wander Inn)

Hosts: Wimmera CMA and Laharum Landcare Group

The breakfast will also provide an update on platypus surveys in the MacKenzie River by wildlife ecologist Josh Griffiths from cesar. Josh will be doing overnight surveys on Monday April 19, Tuesday April 20, as well as eDNA sampling.

RSVP

Please RSVP numbers and dietary requirements to Greg Fletcher before 5pm, Monday April 19

  • Phone 5382 1544 or email fletcherg@wcma.vic.gov.au 

This is a COVIDSafe Event

Community event to help develop platypus rescue plan

A platypus conservation breakfast at Wartook next Wednesday will workshop ideas on expanding and ensuring the long-term survival of the Wimmera’s fragile platypus population.

Wimmera CMA and Laharum Landcare group are inviting the community to the breakfast at 7.30am to discuss recovery actions for the platypus as part of live surveys and eDNA sampling which start on Monday.

After listing the species as threatened and vulnerable in January, the Victorian Government announced an initial cash injection of $250,000 to go immediately towards restoration works at key habitat sites across Victoria, while a further $50,000 will be used to develop a long-term action plan to ensure the future of the unique mammal.

The last surveys of the Wimmera population were in spring 2019, with last year’s monitoring postponed due to COVID.

Wimmera CMA has been studying the platypus population in the MacKenzie River for 20 years. For the past 12 years the Wimmera’s environmental watering program has focused its efforts on where the platypuses are breeding.

CMA water planning and policy officer Greg Fletcher said increased monitoring and translocation were among actions they were considering to secure the long-term survival of platypus in the Wimmera.

“The work we’ve been doing to date with environmental watering has been having a positive impact and this population is growing, but if we want to see platypus move into other parts of the Wimmera River system we need to do more,” he said.

Wildlife ecologist Josh Griffiths, who has studied the Wimmera population since 2009, said he was excited to be checking in on the Wimmera population. He hoped to capture juveniles to demonstrate they are still breeding successfully.

He said he looked forward to discussing opportunities for further research and habitat restoration work with the community.

“If we want platypus in the Wimmera catchment in 100 years time we can’t just rely on this localised, small population in the MacKenzie River. We hope they’ll grow and start dispersing into the Wimmera River itself and we need to consider all options available to help facilitate that,” he said.

Josh said Wimmera CMA’s ongoing platypus monitoring and long-term planning has provided vital data for the formal recognition of platypus as a threatened species. The Wimmera was also the first area to trial eDNA sampling for platypus in 2014, and it’s become an important monitoring tool for platypus and other species such as carp.

“The Wimmera’s long-term data was absolutely critical for the listing as it’s one of the few areas in Victoria that have a long-term platypus program.”

He said Wimmera CMA’s management plan for platypus had also highlighted the importance of water for the environment.