Platypus spotted at Heart Morass

Learn more about Heart Morass

We’ve been working at Heart Morass for many years, learn more about this work and the results it’s achieved.

Nothing says a waterway is in a healthier state than the sight of native animals doing their thing. 

The Heart Morass near Sale is a large wetland wedged between two Ramsar sites, at the confluence of the Thomson and Latrobe rivers.  

The wetland area was previously used for heavy grazing and it suffers from acid sulfate soils and salinity.  

For more than ten years, a partnership between the WGCMA, Sale Field and Game and the Williamson Foundation has seen the 1800-hectare site be transformed to a wonderful wetland on the doorstep of a major Gippsland town. 

Lifelong member of Sale Field & GameDanny Asmussenrecently spotted a platypus downstream from the Swing Bridge at Heart Morass. 

He and his small group saw the platypus from a boat, out on the wetland. Danny says it was “Going under, sitting on top for a while, having a scratch – doing what platypus do. 

As far as we know this is the first time a platypus has been seen at the Morass, certainly long-term advocate and volunteer at the Morass, Gary Howard can’t remember seeing one before. 

Environmental Water Officer at the WGCMA Dr. Adrian Clements says the transformation of the site has been the result of hard work and strong partnerships. 

“To think that it was almost a barren landscape with not much more than a few weedsSince the purchase of the property in 2006 permanent grazing from stock has stoppedthe crew from Sale Field and Game have been planted trees and removed weeds, while we (WGCMA) have been managing the water side of things,” said Dr Clements.  

The platypus being there indicates that the water quality is improving which is allowing more plants to establish and bugs to move in, which is exactly what Platypus love, and a sign we are getting things right. 

Danny said it’s been amazing to see the transformation at Heart Morass 

“Where it used to be basically paddocks and now the tussocks and things are all there. It’s a credit to the guys up there who have done so much work 

It’s less salty now because the Morass is getting fresher because of how they’re (WGCMA) managing it, letting fresher water in through opening and shutting the regulators. 

The work to reclaim and rehabilitate the site was the focus of a recent podcast distributed by the WGCMA. The Gipplsandscapes podcast can be found here