Platypus at home in Bacchus Marsh

Dr Jodie Valpied is the guest speaker at the May Bacchchat. (Damjan Janevski). 399011_01

Ever wanted to know more about the local platypus community?

The next BacchChat event will feature Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance president Dr Jodie Valpied speaking about the work of the group.

“Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance Inc. (BMPA) is a non-profit, volunteer community association which protects, monitors, advocates for and educates the community about platypus in the Bacchus Marsh area, including in the Werribee River through the Bacchus Marsh township,” she said.

“BMPA formed in November 2019, and officially launched in February 2020. It has since grown from five members to over 50 members.”

Dr Valpied will discuss fascinating facts about platypus, updates on what they know about local platypuses in Bacchus Marsh and surrounds, how local residents can help our local platypuses and what Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance has been doing toward this.

“Based on platypus survey results, scientists from the Australian Platypus Conservancy estimate there are at least 30 individual platypuses between Bacchus Marsh Weir (at the westmost end of Werribee Vale Road) and Melton Reservoir,” she said.

“This is a viable population size, but they wouldn’t want the population to decrease any further, as that could affect future breeding.”

Dr Valpied said they want to see more and more people aware that there are platypus in Bacchus Marsh.

“When locals know we have these special creatures living here, they are usually very excited and keen to help protect them.

“We wish more locals knew that their yard and street are directly connected to the platypus’ habitat (local rivers) via stormwater drains.”

The event will be held on May 11.