Merri Creek Management Committee

See MCMC's additional submission on the conservation of Growling Grass Frogs for the Growth Corridor Biodiversity Strategy HERE (586KB pdf)

See MCMC's submission on the Growth Corridor Plan and Biodiversity Strategy HERE (2.5MB pdf)

During the month of May 2011  there were two different sightings of a platypus in Merri Creek, both about 500 metres north of Moreland Rd in a similar area to the one seen by MCMC Admistration Officer, Ray Radford, in September 2010. However, the later sightings were both around 7am, whereas the 2010 sighting was around 3pm.

In early May, Lori Arthur watched a platypus about 20-25cm long swimming pretty quickly upstream in a direct line for a couple of minutes before losing sight of it when it dived. She said: “It was very exciting to see a platypus in Merri Creek and it’s a really positive sign for the work done to improve the creek corridor.”

About three weeks later, Julian Reichl was very surprised to be able to watch a platypus about 30-40 cm long for about 5 minutes. The platypus was feeding its way upstream, first hovering in the current, then ducking under, before reappearing about 10 metres upstream, then repeating this, working its way upstream for about 50 metres.

Merri Creek has won the dubious honour of being Melbourne's most polluted waterway according to a article in The Age on Monday 21 November 2011 by Environment Reporter, Tom Arup, entitled "Not so Merri reputation for creek." See article HERE.

On Thursday 16 September 2010, MCMC Administration Officer, Ray Radford was lucky enough to see a Platypus about 30cm long in the Thornbury/Coburg area of Merri Creek. Ray went to look after receiving a couple of other reports at the same site, and he was able to watch it for about 20 minutes while it hunted, swam, went in and out of its refuge and even had a scratch while on a rock.

Geoff Williams, from the Australian Platypus Conservancy, said: “As far as we are concerned, this is the first really confirmed record for Merri Creek itself since the Australian Platypus Conservancy conducted trapping surveys (with negative results) in 1995."
Based on known movement patterns at this time of the year, Geoff thinks that this platypus is either an adult male travelling around, very widely in search of potential mates, or it is a young animal from last summer's breeding season which is still dispersing from farther upstream in the Yarra system and is checking out vacant territories. Because of the relatively high flow in the main river over the last couple of weeks there would also be the incentive of making use of the tributaries. As it has been described as a fairly small animal, he's leaning to the likelihood that it is a disperser - although size can sometimes be a bit deceptive.

If you site a platypus or a water rat, please report it to the Australian Platypus Conservancy through the link on their website: 

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