Future uncertain for Australia's unique platypus - researchers

2018-11-30 10:34
Australia's unique platypus population is shrinking under pressure from agriculture and pollution. (Greg Wood, AFP)

Australia's unique platypus population is shrinking under pressure from agriculture and pollution. (Greg Wood, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Australia's unique platypus population is shrinking under pressure from agriculture and pollution, putting the egg-laying mammals' future in doubt, researchers said in a report published on Thursday.

A three-year survey of the duck-billed animal suggested its numbers had fallen by 30%, to around 200 000, since Europeans settled the continent two centuries ago.

"We have great concerns about the future survival of this unique species," said Richard Kingsford, director of the University of New South Wales Centre for Ecosystem Science.

Threats endangering the platypus in its eastern Australian habitats include increased land-clearing for agriculture, pollution, dam building and fishing nets, Kingsford said in a statement.

Kingsford and his team called on authorities to elevate the protected status of the platypus from near-threatened to vulnerable.

They said that while population numbers varied in different regions of eastern Australia, platypuses had already disappeared from some areas.

"We cannot afford as a world, let alone Australia, to let his animal go extinct and we know that it's gone extinct in some areas already," Kingsford told the national broadcaster ABC.

The semi-aquatic platypus, which along with four species of echidna are the only mammals that lay eggs, is one of the world's strangest animals, with the bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, otter-like feet and a venomous spur on its hind leg.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    australia  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.