Skipton - Home of the Platypus

Mount Emu Creek abounds in redfin and is the home of many platypuses. A recent trapping survey has confirmed that platypus are breeding successfully right in the heart of Skipton township. The all night research session along the Mount Emu Creek was conducted by the Australian Platypus Conservancy, in collaboration with Skipton's Stewart Park Committee. A baby female was one of six platypuses found in the 5 kilometre section of the creek. Weighing in at just 680 grams, the tiny juvenile had probably only first ventured out of her burrow a week or so previously. Geoff Williams, biologist with the Conservancy, said that the youngster was in really good condition and her presence confirmed that successful breeding is taking place in the township.  The best place to view these lovely little fellows is in Stewart Park.

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal which lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young.  

It is a bizarre looking animal with web feet, fur and a duck bill and the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain. It is an iconic symbol of Australia and has appeared as a mascot at national events  Until the early 20th century it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected. Although captive breeding programmes have had only limited success and the Platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution, it is not under any immediate threat. For more information on this shy creature visit http://www.australianfauna.com/platypus.php or http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/BHAN-53573T?open

 

Mount Emu Creek is a long but small meandering waterway located in the west of Victoria. The total length of the Mount Emu Creek is over 250 kilometres. The creek forms near Trawalla, and Trawalla Creek flows to Mount Emu Creek, the quantity and quality of water from Trawalla Creek is of great importance to Mount Emu Creek. Trawalla Creek drains the area of highest rainfall within Mount Emu Creek’s catchment. It appears that Trawalla Creek contributes most the of the good quality water that enters Mount Emu Creek. The creek has a length of approximately 70 kilometres through this sub-catchment, and passes through the township of Darlington. It is the major waterway within the Hopkins Basin. The main drainage area is from numerous small tributaries and gullies to the east and west of the waterway, including Darlington Creek.

The waterway starts as a series of creeks and waterways which merge to form the Mount Emu Creek which flows through areas around Beaufort, Skipton, Darlington, Terang and Panmure. It joins the Hopkins River which eventually leads out to sea at Warrnambool. The Mount Emu system is a very popular fishing stream with the locals and out-of-towners where trophy sized trout can be pursued. The creek is regularly stocked with brown trout from the department of Natural Resources and environment (with the assistance of the Terang Angling Club.) There is also a small population of brown trout. Trophy size trout are there to be taken but most fish average around the 1 kilo mark.

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