The platypus is one of Australia’s most iconic native animals, but it is threatened with local extinction. As a part of our mission to , WWF-Australia is at the forefront of research on restoring, protecting and rewilding platypus populations to safeguard their future in our waterways.
The platypus is one of the world's most unique animals. Along with the echidna, they are the only mammals on the planet that lay eggs.
The platypus usually lives alone, making its home in freshwater systems. When they’re not looking for shrimp, swimming beetles, water bugs and tadpoles to eat, they spend their time in their burrows, which they build in the banks of creeks, rivers or ponds.
The platypus once thrived across the eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania. But the constant threat of bushfires, deforestation, drought, pollution and predators means the future of this extraordinary monotreme lies in the balance. Worryingly, they are now at risk of becoming locally extinct in Sydney's Royal National Park. In areas such as the Murray-Darling Basin, platypus populations have declined by almost 31% over the past 30 years. And in some urban catchments near Melbourne, their numbers have decreased by as much as 65%. This decline cannot continue. We must take action today. By protecting the platypus , we will safeguard the livelihoods of so many of Australia’s other incredible animals. Scroll down to see the amazing work going in to rewild this iconic species.
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WWF-Australia has collaborated with UNSW's Platypus Conservation Initiative, Taronga Conservation Society Australia and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to embark on a three-year project dedicated to restoring and rewilding platypus populations in Sydney’s Royal National Park. This collaborative team of expert researchers, scientists, rangers and ecologists will survey for platypus in and around Australia’s oldest national park. We will look for areas with dense platypus populations and locate appropriate areas to rewild the species. After they have been translocated, our team will continue to monitor their progress to future-proof their survival. Rewilding the platypus is part of WWF-Australia’s bold and innovative mission, which aims to regenerate the wildlife and landscapes that make our country so special and diverse. There’s no time to waste. Australian Nature Needs our Australian Nature. The platypus and the magnificent natural world where they build their home is counting on us.
The platypus is a flagship species, making them a critical part of healthy river ecosystems. Sighting just a few in a water source was once thought to be a sign of a healthy population, as platypus are to rivers what koalas are to forests. But alarmingly, it’s believed their numbers today are a fraction of what they once were. This is because their river homes are threatened from every side – dried out by droughts, destroyed by bushfires and deforestation, and degraded by pollution and dams. We must restore and protect their precious habitats now. If we don’t, platypus populations could disappear from some of our rivers forever. By supporting our rewilding the platypus project, you are helping to safeguard the future of not only the platypus – but thousands of other wildlife too. Your generosity will be a symbol of your support for conservation and animal advocacy, ensuring the iconic platypus remains in our freshwater sources forever.
- Support WWF-Australia’s rewilding the platypus project by to ensure the future of the species.
- and lead the way to restoring our environment. One signature = one tree planted!
- Safeguard our precious natural world by recycling and using less plastic, which will help keep waterways clear for the platypus.