Platypus sightings in the Wimmera

WIMMERA Catchment Management Authority hopes the discovery of platypuses in the region will lead to a population increase.

The authority has seen four platypuses in Mackenzie Creek, including two juveniles.

Authority waterways planning and policy officer Greg Fletcher said it was the first time in more than 10 years that juveniles had been seen.

"The juveniles were a boy and girl and we also found a sub-adult male and an adult male," he said.

He said Wimmera's platypus population was in single digit figures.

"This is very positive. Before the survey we weren't too optimistic because of the recent bushfires and the effects of drought in the area," he said.

"But it means there are platypuses there having babies and surviving."

Mr Fletcher said years of drought meant platypuses lost their habitat.

"They didn't have anywhere to go and would end up wandering through paddocks and getting attacked by foxes," he said.

"Now with the environmental flows going the whole length of the creek, they have somewhere to go."

Mr Fletcher said the authority's focus had always been on Mackenzie Creek.

"We have completed surveys in the upper Wimmera River in the past but the past few surveys have failed to find anything," he said.

"The drought knocked them around a bit."

He said the authority would annually survey the region.

Mr Fletcher said if anyone saw a platypus, they should report it online at platypusspot.org.

"People can log on there and see the database showing where they have been spotted," he said.

The authority will release its draft Wimmera Waterways Strategy on Monday.

Mr Fletcher said the community could have its say on the strategy and it could be viewed on the authority's website.

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