|Applied Marine Ecology|
|Aquatic Species Ecology|
|Food Webs and Invertebrates Community Dynamics|
|Invasive Species (Wetlands)|
|Platypus Conservation Initiative|
|River Red Gum Dynamics and Management|
|Wetland Ecology and Stable Isotopes|
|Invasive Species (Terrestrial)|
|Spatial Analyses and GIS|
|Vegetation Survey and Mapping|
Platypus Conservation Initiative
Platypus Conservation Initiative
The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an Australian enigma, one of only five extant species of egg-laying mammals and the only species within the monotreme family Ornithorhynchidae. It is a semi-aquatic mammal, endemic to Australia, exhibiting both reptilian and mammalian characters: egg laying, fur, lactation, venomous spurs, and has electroreception. The platypus is such an evolutionarily distinct mammal, making it of exceptional scientific value and an irreplaceable component of national and global biodiversity.
There is mounting evidence that populations are declining due to multiple stressors, including habitat loss and fragmentation and poor river management. Despite the growing evidence, the platypus is still considered to be “of least concern”, under IUCN red listing. It is also not listed on any threatened species schedules in Australia, except in South Australia, where its natural distribution been dramatically reduced since European settlement.
An ARC funded Linkage project, the Platypus Conservation Initiative, has begun in 2016.
Our goal is to reduce extinction risk to the platypus. This project will identify how different threats vary across its range, interacting with life history. We will assess how the major threat of river fragmentation affects population structure and movements. We will identify the most cost effective conservation actions to mitigate impacts, advised by our national partnership of government partners. We will develop methods for assessing extinction risk for species, with limited life history information.
During the first phase of the pjoect we have started investigating impacts of large dams on gene flow between populations as well as health of individuals. Our first field season was focused on the regulated western flowing Severn River (NSW) and the free flowing Tenterfiled Creek. In our second field season we will be surveying the Thredbo, Snowy and Eucambene Rivers.
Check updates and photos on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PlatypusConservationInitiative/
The Centre for Ecosystem Science has partnered with Taronga Zoo and assembled a national team for a national problem of high significance. It involves three universities (University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, and University of Sydney), Cesar, and six State and Federal partners all involved in the conservation of platypus, with relevant expertise and management responsibilities.
All four eastern States which coincide with the distribution of platypus are involved:
At the national scale, The Platypus Conservation Initiative has partnered with The Environmental Water Holder and The Threatened Species Commissioner.
Associated researchers on the Project:
University of NSW
University of Sydney
Focused research projects:
Tel: +61 2 9385 8296 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Address: Room 508, Building D26, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of NSW
Authorised by Professor Richard Kingsford, Director | CRICOS Provider Code 00098G | ABN 57 195 873 179