The Goulburn Murray Landcare Network is joining forces with the Australian Platypus Conservancy to collect information about platypuses and water-rats.
The project is aiming to collect information about the aquatic mammals to help plan environmental improvements along local waterways, including Broken Creek.
The network is asking members of the community to provide any details of sightings, including approximate time and location of sighting, along with any information that could assist with the mapping of the reports.
APC biologist Geoff Williams said platypuses and water-rats were difficult species to study in the wild, with live-trapping surveys often time-consuming and labour-intensive, and community sightings were key to understanding how the species were faring in the wild.
Given that platypuses and native water-rats, or rakali, are top predators in aquatic ecosystems, GMLN spokesperson Andrea Montgomery said they served as important biological indicators for monitoring environmental conditions and were key to the biodiversity of waterways.
Platypus and water-rats are most likely to be observed early in the morning or late in the evening, though both animals may also be active in the middle of the day.
Platypus and water-rats occupy weir pools, irrigation channels and man-made dams or reservoirs as well as natural lakes and rivers.
They are generally most readily spotted in places where the water surface is fairly calm, making it easier for observers to identify the ripples formed on the water surface as the animals swim and dive.
■Reports can be emailed to GMLN at email@example.com or phone 5821 3530. To submit an online report visit www.platypus.asn.au