By Stephen Brend, Biosphere Foundation Project Officer
The Great Australian Platypus Search is a citizen science project aiming to get a better understanding of these iconic mammals. Platypus can be hard to study because they are most active in the evenings and at night, and they don’t leave obvious signs. Or do they? The Great Australian Platypus Search looks for eDNA (environmental DNA), which is DNA that animals leave behind in the environment. For aquatic species, it can be found when analysing water samples.
Platypus were found in Balcombe Creek, near Mornington. There was also a possible detection at Rutherford Creek, near Warneet at the Northern end of Western Port. Obviously, we are delighted that platypus can still be found in the Biosphere Reserve. It highlights the importance of water stewardship. Maintaining healthy creeks, especially in the face of climate change and urbanisation, is the surest way to save this unique but threated species.
To find out more visit www.thegreataustralianplatypussearch.org