There are three major threats to platypus, and they are all due to human behaviour.
* Opera House Nets - these are used to catch yabbies, but unfortunately they often catch and kill platypus too. Platypus can only hold their breath for a maximum of two minutes, so if they get trapped in these nets they drown. OHN are illegal to use in public waterways. If you ever see one, remove it from the water and contact your local council, and Parks Victoria.
* Elastic / Plastic Bands & Rings - These items are often dropped or discarded on the ground, and then they often end up in our creeks via thestormwater drains. They entangle themselves around platypus causing cuts, infections, and even strangulation. If you ever see a band or ring at home or on the ground, make sure you cut it up before you throw it away.
* Dogs - Dogs should be kept on a lead whenever near a creek or lake that may have platypus in. Not only do the dogs risk frightening or even killing platypus, but they also disrupt the vegetation along the creek banks. Without this vegetation, the creeks won't stay healthy, and the macroinverterbrates tat platypus eat may disapear. And without their food, the platypus will disapear as well.
Above: Drowned platypus in an OHN
Below: Our Elastic Band Platypus - created by artist Glenn Scollyer, and decorated with elastic bands & rings collected by students we worked with