Australia’s elusive platypus is under threat
Numbers have been declining by as much as 30%
Source: University of New South Wales study
and its habitat has shrunk more than a fifth in the last 30 years
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES ECOLOGIST, DOCTOR GILAD BINO, SAYING:
"The platypus is threatened for a number of reasons - human related reasons. Namely extensive water resource development that Australia has undergone in the past 60 years. With construction of dams and abstraction of water and river regulation and changing the natural flow regimes of rivers has threatened Platypus habitat."
Other threats include:
- Cattle destroying riverbanks
- Invasive species
Date: April 12, 2021
The nocturnal mammals are renowned for being hard to find
Many Australians have never seen one in the wild
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES RESEARCH ASSISTANT, DOCTOR TAHNEAL HAWKE, SAYING:
"I think a lot of species you sort of hear about them when it's too late, they've sort of reached that tipping point - the point of no return. With the Platypus we are getting increasing evidence that they are declining. But I think we've got a really unique opportunity that if we intervene now, we can really prevent those extinctions in the future and hopefully the Platypus will be around for many more generations."