Help protect our platypuses
A platypus in the Hobart Rivulet. Photo: Michael Roberts
Hobart's rivulets are home to a wonderful range of aquatic wildlife, including native fish, the rakali – a native rat, and of course platypuses.
But while Hobart's rivulets are ecologically healthy and well protected within the forests of Wellington Park they face multiple challenges as they enter Hobart's suburbs and the city, including rubbish and pollution.
Discarded twine has led to the death of a platypus in the Hobart Rivulet.
Help keep our platypuses safe
- Pick up litter – particularly anything that could get caught around a platypus's bill, neck or body – whether or not the litter is found near water.
- Spread the word that plastic bracelets and elastic hair ties can be lethal for wildlife. Items dropped in the street or in playgrounds can be carried through storm water drains and into platypus habitat.
- If you see a platypus in distress please avoid trying to contain or handle the platypus. Males have venomous spurs on their hind legs that can cause excruciating pain. Keep pets away from the platypus, try to maintain sight of the animal if possible, and call the Bonorong Rescue Service on 0447 264 625 (0447 ANIMAL) for further advice.
- Cut through ALL metal or plastic rings or loops of any size before disposing of them – just to be on the safe side.
- Avoid washing motor vehicles on impermeable surfaces such as driveways or carparks, especially if the soapy water runs off to a concrete gutter or stormwater drain.
- Minimise your use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers on gardens.
- Avoid disposing of household chemicals (lubricants, solvents, preservatives, cleansers, paints, etc) by pouring them down a gutter, drain or toilet – instead, consult your local council's website to find out how to safely dispose of chemicals in an environmentally friendly manner.
- If you see pollution in or entering Hobart's waterways please report it to the City of Hobart Customer Service Centre on 03 6238 2711. This includes not just paint, but sediment from building sites and concrete wash.
Get active for nature
Get involved with the City of Hobart Bushcare program. The Hobart Rivulet Bushcare group is our newest and doing great work enhancing platypus habitat along the rivulet.
To find out how to get involved visit our Bushcare page:
Become a citizen scientist
People across Australia are joining the citizen scientist movement and becoming active participants in monitoring and tracking the health of our native species across.
You can do that too by helping scientists discover more about the behaviour and locations of Hobart's platypus populations by reporting sightings using a number of apps:
The Hobart Rivulet is probably one of the easiest and most reliable places in Australia to view platypuses. This is wonderful, but also means we as residents are responsible for looking after these precious and unique monotremes.