Students boost platypus habitat  

Lindenow South Primary School students rolled up their sleeves, donned their gloves and planted plants for platypus along the banks of the Mitchell River.

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has recently placed a series of instream wood structures in the Mitchell River near Wuk Wuk. These structures will provide many functions that aim to benefit platypus populations by providing food and shelter.

Funding for this project, provided by the Victorian Government, is to help highlight the conversation status of platypus in Victoria, particularly in locations likely to provide refuge for the species under a changing climate.

Prior to site selections, eDNA sampling was conducted to confirm the presence of platypus in this section of the Mitchell River.

“This was important to ensure that the habitat was being placed in a location where the species already exists.” Said Bec Hemming, East Gippsland CMA’s CEO

“The enhanced habitat will provide support for this existing population”.

The students from Lindenow South Primary School have been researching platypus, and there isn’t much they don’t know about the species they are helping to protect.

Following a presentation by Wildlife Unlimited to enhance their already strong knowledge of the species, sporting gumboots, they marched on down to the riverbanks to plant native plants just above the newly installed habitat structures.

Once this vegetation is established, it will complement the habitat structures by providing a whole range of benefits. Some of these benefits include reducing sediment runoff into the river, improving water quality, providing habitat for terrestrial animals, food for aquatic animals, and shade for the water, which helps control water temperature during the hotter months.

This hands-on educational experience for the students not only enriches their understanding of platypus but also ensures a safer and more inviting environment for one of nature’s unique creatures.

Lindenow South Primary School students planting native plants on the banks of the Mitchell River
Lindenow South Primary School students with EGCMA staff following a successful planting day on the banks of the Mitchell River.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout East Gippsland and pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past and present.