Illegal traps snare native wildlife

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THE public is being urged to look out for illegal yabby traps in our waterways as they pose a major threat to native wildlife, including platypus and some endangered fish.

“Last month two dead platypuses were unfortunately hauled from the Murrumbidgee River in an illegal yabby trap,” regional manager, National Parks and Catchments Brett McNamara said.

“Yabby traps, such as ‘opera house’ traps, are illegal in public waters in the ACT and the eastern half of NSW.

“The public should be aware that it is an offence to be in possession of an opera house trap if you are in or beside public waters and to use them in open waters in the ACT.

“Opera house traps are known to catch and drown air breathing animals such as platypus, turtles, native water rats and birds. These traps can also catch and kill the threatened Murray River crayfish. The use of opera house traps is one of the greatest threats to platypus and is responsible for an increasing numbers of deaths each year.

“The public are asked to immediately report any enclosed yabby traps found in lakes and rivers in the ACT and Upper Murrumbidgee region. These traps can still be used on private land to catch yabbies, shrimp and minnow, but must not be used in any public or open waters.”

“There are a number of signs of an illegal trap, including rope or string tied close to the bank going into the waterway, a plastic bottle bobbing in a fixed position in the stream or a lonely fishing float or a small plastic ball not moving with the current.

“We are also asking people to be on the lookout for discarded fishing equipment. If you see any, please remove it to prevent further harm to wildlife.”

Report illegal traps 1800 333000 or Access Canberra on 132281.

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