Platypus project extended after sightings identify habitat
A PLATYPUS monitoring project run by Ipswich City Council and Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland will be extended this year after a successful start to the program.
Ipswich signed up to the PlatypusWatch project in 2014 with sightings recorded at Kholo Gardens and Saplings Pocket at Pine Mountain.
There was also evidence of previous platypus activity at Kholo Bridge over the Brisbane River.
At yesterday's council meeting, three new sites were approved as an extension to the project with likely locations to include Bundamba Creek, Deebing Creek and Woogaroo Creek.
Wildlife Queensland Senior Projects Officer Matt Cecil said the project was an important step in protecting habitat for the platypus.
"There is very little population information on the platypus population in Queensland," Mr Cecil said.
"Anywhere that platypus exist is important to their population. Anywhere they are now is critical because impacts on fresh water systems are always going to increase."
An Ipswich City Council spokesman said before the program was undertaken, there was little or no firm data beyond a number of anecdotal and community sightings.
"Through a series of workshops and community surveys we have been able to learn more about this iconic Australian animal in Ipswich," he said.
"To date four workshops explaining survey techniques, preferred habitats, threats and behaviours of the platypus have been held as well as four community survey days.
"The workshops and surveys were well attended, with 52 community members taking part."
The next community survey event will be a part of Connect to Your Creek Week activities which run from April 9 to 17.