Boost For Platypus Conservation And Icon Species

The ongoing protection of the platypus − one of Australia’s most loved, yet mysterious creatures – has received a boost thanks to Andrews Labor Government funding for a new Australian Platypus Conservation Centre.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today announced $5 million to build the state-of-the-art centre at Zoos Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary.

The centre will be used by world-leading platypus researchers to conduct biological and behavioural research to help Australia-wide conservation efforts. It will also provide enhanced capacity to treat and care for wild platypus affected by extreme weather emergencies.

The funding follows a $300,000 Labor Government investment in 2021 to support key platypus habitat site restoration works and long-term planning to ensure the unique monotreme has a healthy future. One of these projects, at Hamilton’s Grange Burn waterway, will feature a new online livestream – Platycam.

The Government is also injecting more than $870,000 for 14 projects across the state to support the ongoing protection of icon species including the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Southern
Bent-Wing Bat, Burranan Dolphin and Eltham Copper Butterfly.

The projects include a program to monitor the Bogong Moth across the Victorian Alps to help better target conservation efforts of the endangered insect. The migratory moth is a key food source for the critically endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum and other wildlife.

The Icon Species Program has provided more than $2.6 million to support 19 of Victoria’s icon species over the past five years.

The Government is also directing $292,000 to 122 of the state’s hardworking wildlife rehabilitators as part of the Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants Program. Wildlife rehabilitators are critical in caring for injured or displaced native animals. This year’s program includes an extra $60,000 in support for rehabilitators impacted by the July storms.

The Government is helping to stop the decline of native plants and animals and improve the state’s natural environment, through its Biodiversity 2037 plan and has invested nearly $500 million towards protecting biodiversity and the natural environment since coming to government in 2014.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“This new research and conservation centre will ensure our expert scientists can continue to work on protecting the iconic platypus in a state-of-the-art facility.”

“We are continuing to invest in protecting Victoria’s diverse and wonderful native wildlife, supporting critical research, habitat protection and the amazing efforts of wildlife carers.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“I’m delighted to see ongoing investment in protecting our precious animals, including the platypus  one of the world’s most unique creatures.”

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