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Our Projects

Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance members, volunteers and collaborators undertake a range of projects to help look after platypuses in Bacchus Marsh and surrounds. These projects come under the areas below.

Click on each heading below to find out more...

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Platypus Next Door

For community members - Find out how you can help our local platypuses.

Read more...

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Clean Site for Platypus

For builders & developers - Find out how you can keep our platypuses safe.

Read more...

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Platypus Arts Trail

Celebrating the special rivers, plants & animals of the Bacchus Marsh area.

Read more...

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Monitoring Program

Monitoring platypuses, water quality & litter in Bacchus Marsh waterways.

Read more...

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"Platypus Next Door" project

Your roof, yard and street are connected, via pipes and drains, to local rivers... where platypus and other animals live. Anything in your yard and street can end up in the river!

 

Sometimes the water from these drains flows too fast into the river, because hard surfaces (e.g. concrete) stop water from soaking into the ground. This can flood platypus nesting burrows, wash away their food (waterbugs) and wash pollution and litter into their habitat.

 

Here are some things you can do to help your platypus "neighbours"...

To help the water travel into the river more gently, through natural aquifers underground:

  • Install a rainwater tank

  • Plant gardens with deep-rooted plants (e.g. local native species)

  • Reduce concrete surfaces (e.g. use pavers or compressed gravel instead)

 

To protect platypuses from getting tangled and hurt:

  • Cut and bin circular-shaped rubbish & string

  • Pick up elastic hair bands
     

To reduce toxins and help protect platypus food:

  • Clean up oil spills

  • Wash car at a car wash facility (instead of at home)

  • Pick up pet poop

    DON’T use pesticides/insecticides
    DON’T tip oil or paint down the drain

Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance will be distributing a brochure with this information to 2500 households in Bacchus Marsh. Please let us know if you'd like to help!

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"Clean Site for Platypus" project

This projects helps builders and developers contain waste and sediment on site, so that it doesn't blow or flow into platypus habitat in Bacchus Marsh. This is important as many of the new housing developments in Bacchus Marsh are near the Werribee River, or creeks that connect to the river.

 

If current levels of sedimentation of the Werribee River in Bacchus Marsh continue, local platypuses might not survive. This would be a tragedy, so we need builders and other tradies to help us work out solutions.

If you'd like to be involved or find out more, please drop us a line at: platypusalliance@gmail.com

 

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"Platypus Arts Trail" project

This project aims to raise awareness of platypus, waterway health and
the special environmental features of Bacchus Marsh and surrounds through arts installations.

The first step in beginning the Platypus Arts Trail is a platypus-themed mural to be installed on the south-facing wall of the current Bacchus Marsh Aquatic Centre (Grant St), in late 2022.

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Monitoring - platypus, water quality & litter

We monitor platypus presence, water quality (including sedimentation), macroinvertebrates (waterbugs, which platypuses eat) and litter levels at key platypus habitat locations in Bacchus Marsh.

You can help us by reporting platypus sightings here. 

This helps us keep our local platypuses safe from litter and pollution.

Platypus monitoring:

BMPA and our collaborators monitor platypus presence in waterways of Bacchus Marsh and surrounds through:

  • Visual monitoring and sightings by BMPA members and the community (report platypus sighting here)

  • Live platypus surveys conducted by platypus scientists (Australian Platypus Conservancy)

  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) testing, in which water samples are tested for platypus DNA (conducted by and in collaboration with Melbourne Water)

Water quality & macroinvertebrate monitoring:

The Werribee River in Bacchus Marsh has been turning an orange hue due to sediment runoff, mainly from housing construction sites. This sediment can smother the food platypuses eat (macroinvertebrates, which are small but visible animals without a spine - also known as 'waterbugs').

In response to this concern, BMPA has started the MAISOP Project, which stands for Monitoring & Addressing Impacts of Sediment On Platypus habitat. We are collecting data on sediment input and macroinvertebrate levels in the Werribee River, Bacchus Marsh, upstream and downstream of key housing construction areas. Experienced biologists are helping guide this process. The data will be used to analyse impacts of the sediment runoff on platypus food and habitat, and to help us work with relevant authorities and stakeholders on a plan of action. The first 6 months of the project has been funded by a Small Environmental Grant from Wettenhall Environmental Trust.

Litter monitoring:

Litter poses a major threat to platypuses, especially ring-shaped and string-shaped litter. Platypuses get easily tangled up in litter, because of their size, shape, type of feet, and the way they search for food with their bills.

BMPA conducts litter counts (audits) and cleanups along the Werribee River in Bacchus Marsh, in collaboration with Melbourne Water, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Werribee River Association and Moorabool Environment Group.

During our litter audits, around 50% of litter collected has been construction-related waste. We will be implementing a 'Clean Site for Platypus' program in response to this finding (find out more here).

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