30 Nov 2021
IN PHOTOS: WWF-AUSTRALIA JOINS THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLATYPUS SEARCH
WWF-Australia's Melbourne staff step out of lockdown and into the field for the first time in search of the ever-elusive platypus, using environmental DNA (eDNA).
Pictured left to right: WWF-Australia's Melbourne Pandas Vanessa Calvert, Victoria Pilbeam, Karina Strange and Sophie Hueppauff collect Platypus eDNA samples from the Maribyrnong River near Heavenly Queen Temple, Footscray
They may look like a Panda Band but WWF-Australia's Melbourne office have been in-the-field, searching for platypus in the heart of Footscray, the mighty Yarra River and beyond! Join our Melbourne Pandas as they get out and about to celebrate the launch of the largest citizen scientist project in Australia’s history - The Great Australian Platypus Search.
How environmental DNA (eDNA) can help find platypus
So, how can a syringe, river water and a sandwich bag help us locate the platypus? The answer is simple – to find where platypus are, we need to capture what they leave behind to find where they’ve been. The Great Australian Platypus Search uses an innovative wildlife detection technique known as environmental DNA (eDNA). This new approach will allow scientists to develop a comprehensive map of platypus populations across Victoria.
Could the platypus be in the Melbourne CBD?
The Great Australian Platypus Search is sending ordinary Aussie volunteers to a number of sites around Melbourne and regional Victoria, everywhere from the CBD to Mornington Peninsula. WWF-Australia’s Melbourne Pandas had a fantastic time getting out in nature and the urban jungle for this very worthwhile cause.
Working together to protect an Australian icon
This initiative is set to be one of the biggest citizen science projects in the world. The Great Australian Platypus Search is gathering never-before-seen data on one of the world’s most elusive species. The platypus is an Australian icon and a culturally-significant species, and WWF-Australia is proud to take part in this-led initiative dedicated to protecting the platypus, aquatic vertebrates and Australian waterways for many years to come.
You can find out more about The Great Australian Platypus Search.