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Urban platypuses: threats and challenges

August 6, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us for a snapshot of 13 years of platypus monitoring data. Presented by wildlife ecologist Josh Griffiths.

Melbourne Water and industry professionals have partnered to bring you this live webinar series exploring waterway management and conservation. The series features expert presenters covering ecological and waterway themes to inform and inspire.

The platypus was recently upgraded to ’Near Threatened’ due to mounting evidence of population declines, localised extinctions and increasing degradation of their aquatic habitat. However, it is recognised that there is a lack of data on population status or trajectories throughout their range to fully understand their true conservation status and impacts of various threats.

The Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program is the largest monitoring program for platypuses and the only one in an urban environment that poses unique challenges to aquatic fauna. Widespread declines have been identified through long-term live-trapping and, more recently, environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys but some recovery is evident since the end of the Millennium Drought and improving waterway management.

Josh Griffiths is a wildlife ecologist with research groups cesar/EnviroDNA, specialising in the iconic platypus. Josh will discuss his work on platypuses over the last 13 years including their conservation status and threats and running the Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program.