The platypus has been listed as a threatened species under state legislation after a recommendation from the Victorian government's Scientific Advisory Council.
Platypus are native to the Wimmera region, but have seen a significant decline in number. This follows a threatened species advisory process last year which looked at the population and distribution of the platypus species across Victoria.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority's Biodiversity Project Officer, Ben Holmes said the threatened species listing provides a platform for future preservation projects.
"It becomes a species that people will focus on more. Historically, and until very recently, people thought platypus were quite numerous and doing well," Mr Holmes said.
"No one really thought about what they needed to be doing to manage platypus populations. So I suppose it is a bit of a wake up call to everyone that we should be paying more attention to the platypus population and what they need."
Mr Holmes said the threatened species listing also helped biodiversity groups like Wimmera CMA access funding.
In response to the listing the Victorian government allocated $250,000 toward restoration works of platypus habitat sites across the state. A further $50,000 was also put towards developing a long term action plan for the survival of the species.
Mr Holmes said a workshop will be held in March to determine how the funding will be allocated.
The Wimmera region was provided as an example in the Scientific Advisory Committee's submission as a region with a declining platypus population.
Due to recent drought conditions, Mr Holmes said the platypus population in the Wimmera river is locally extinct, with one small population in the upper reaches of the McKenzie river.
"Recently some genetic analysis shows that we do have a small population, estimated at around 10 to 20 individuals," Mr Holmes said.
"That also showed that the genetic diversity is very low, that is not a good thing and something we have to improve."
Wimmera CMA has planned several projects in the Wimmera catchment to help restore platypus habitat.
"We've been using environmental flows over the last ten years to maintain good quality water and restore habitat in the Wimmera river, Burnt creek and McKenzie river," Mr Holmes said.
Mr Holmes said the McKenzie platypus population is particularly exposed to environmental factors such as fire and floods, requiring special care to build resilience in the population.
"At the moment we've got one really small population in about 15 km of stream within the Grampians national park. One nasty event, that population becomes extinct, and then that population becomes extinct in the Wimmera, so that is not ideal."
Wimmera CMA works with Victorian environmental water holders to allocate water flow into the region and maintain a good quality of water for the platypus population. The group hopes that the funding and subsequent March workshop will provide a basis for further platypus preservation works to be undertaken.