The Great Victorian Platypus Search

Region: Victoria
Status: Threatened

One of Australia’s most unique and iconic creatures is now at risk of extinction. The platypus is an Australian icon and an important indigenous species.

There is now mounting evidence showing rapid population decline and localised extinctions. You can help us take immediate action to help protect the platypus disappearing from our waterways.

These egg-laying mammals, famously known for their duck-like bills have been suffering under the impacts of habitat loss, drought, climate change and last summer’s bushfires.

Project Goal

Odonata propose the launch of The Great Victorian Platypus Search, a state-wide investigation into platypus populations throughout Victoria. Being elusive creatures with sparse distribution, they have been notoriously difficult to detect and study in the wild.

Using an innovative wildlife detection tool known as environmental DNA (eDNA), we seek to unite Victorians on a citizen-science based search, developing a comprehensive map of platypus populations across the state. eDNA methods capture traces of DNA that wildlife shed into the environment and has been used with great success to monitor this species.

The Great Victorian Platypus Search will empower our state with critical platypus location data, filling a gap in our current knowledge. Understanding where platypuses are inhabiting throughout Victoria is the next essential step to protecting their future in our state and their last remaining habitat.

Partners

EnviroDNA, Melbourne Australia; Monash University.

End Extinction International; Outback Academy Australia

Can you volunteer?

We are looking for Citizen Scientists across Victoria to help on this project. Please enquire below to register your interest.

Register your interest as a Citizen Scientist

Required funding

$700,000 to support a state-wide eDNA based program with a total of 2000 sampling sites, laboratory analysis, citizen-science training, field work, data analysis, technological support and reporting.

Platypuses are a prominent feature in indigenous Dreamtime stories and represent an animal totem for several indigenous groups. It is our shared responsibility to act now before it is too late.