The platypus is an iconic Australian species - living right here, in the waterways of the Manning and Great Lakes. While locally there are good numbers of platypus, they are under threat from the human activities.
Raising awareness about these threats is the focus of the new Manning Great Lakes Platypus Awareness and Conservation Team (PACT), which Council is a member of together with MidCoast Water, Great Lakes Council, Gloucester Council, National Parks & Wildlife Service, the Hunter-Central Rivers CMA, NSW Fisheries, the Land and Property Management Authority and FAWNA.
One of the most preventable threats is the illegal use of traps and nets. Platypus may spend a lot of time in the water, but they can only hold their breath for about two minutes - so they can easily drown if caught in a trap.
In 2003 opera house style yabby traps were banned in public waters (rivers, creeks and lakes) where platypuses are found, in response to the number of animals being caught and drowned in these traps. However because it is still legal to use these traps in private farm dams and in public waters in parts of western NSW where platypus do not occur, they are still legally available for sale.
For more details about the work of PACT and information on platypus facts, illegal traps, and upcoming activities visit the PACT website