The Zoo’s Project Platypus community conservation education program will start its second year with a field day for primary school students in May on the banks of the Macquarie River. The program helps the young students learn about the species, impacts on their habitat and how to conserve the species.
In this outdoor classroom environment the kids will get a greater understanding about habitat requirements for the marvellous duck-billed creatures, the threats they face and river health issues. Students will help plant trees, do water quality testing and be part of fisheries information sessions and Aboriginal education workshops.
The students then become ambassadors for Platypus helping to communicate to the local community the importance of protecting waterways such as the Macquarie River as it benefits not only the Platypus but many other species which call the river home.
Whilst Platypus are considered common, the species faces many threats to long-term survival including degradation of rivers and streams and banks for suitable burrows, irresponsible land use practices, illegal netting and trapping of fish and crustaceans as well as pollutants and dog attacks.