The enchanting world of the platypus came alive in The Hills as community members, citizen scientists from the Cattai Hills Environment Network (CHEN) and Dr Michelle Ryan from Western Sydney University joined forces during Platypus Month.
This special time allowed residents to learn about the remarkable discovery of the local platypus population and take action to protect these unique creatures for the future.
Workshops and celebrations
Throughout Platypus Month in August, workshops and celebrations brought the community closer to their aquatic neighbours.
The first workshop, Platypus and Riverbank Restoration, aimed to educate attendees on the importance of preserving riverbank habitats for platypus. It highlighted the importance of being a responsible steward of these environments.
A workshop designed especially for kids was another highlight of the month. Young participants had the chance to watch footage of platypuses in The Hills and explore the fascinating world of water bugs, which serve as a crucial food source for these elusive creatures.
The remaining two workshops delved into the research and stories of the local platypus population, shedding light on their presence in the local community and offering insights into how residents could contribute to their conservation.
These workshops drew over 100 attendees, showcasing the commitment of the community to protect this local population.
An especially heartwarming celebration came from Balcombe Heights childcare, who organised a birthday party for their platypus friend, ‘Platy’. This came complete with a lively rendition of the platypus song and a hearty “happy birthday”.
Over 40 dedicated Bushcare volunteers rolled up their sleeves to engage in the vital work of restoring the riverbank along Cattai Creek.
Their efforts included planting, mulching, and weeding to create a healthier habitat for the local platypus population.
Platypus Bushcare is held once a month at Connelly Way, in Kellyville.
No experience is necessary. To register, visit www.thehills.nsw.gov.au and search for ‘Platypus Bushcare.’
Partnerships for Platypus:
Council has also partnered with Cattai Hills Environment Network and Greater Sydney Landcare to help run and support Platypus Landcare.
This initiative focuses on restoring platypus habitats on local landholder properties along waterways and other key areas where platypus reside.
If you’re interested in being involved in Platypus Landcare, contact Council’s Environmental Education Officer on (02) 9843 0533.