With bushfires ravaging parts of Australia, it’s easy to forget that we’re in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record. What’s equally heartbreaking is that dry conditions have pushed the platypus population to the brink of extinction.
It’s estimated that the population has already diminished by 40% and if these conditions continue, it’s believed that the platypus could become extinct within the next 50 years. Why is it always the cute ones that suffer?
A recent study by the bioscience schools from UNSW and Uni of Melbourne discovered these harrowing facts. As a species, the platypus is listed as “near threatened,” in all states except South Australia who has wised up to the looming threat and classes the species as “threatened.”
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This is Connie, named by the @qldpolice officer that brought her to the @AustraliaZoo Wildlife Hospital. Due to drought, the creek Connie was living in dried out and she was unable to find enough food. She is regaining her strength under the care of our vets and will shortly be released into a more suitable habitat. ? @wildlifewarriorsworldwide
The study found that climate change, drought, dam building and land clearing are all to blame for the dwindling population. If these conditions continue or worsen, the platypus population will decrease by 51–73% over the next 50 years.
Though it’s not quite all doom and gloom, the study does provide urgent recommends that could potentially save our favourite duck-billed egg-laying mammals from extinction.
The study suggests national conservation efforts including things like tracking trends, mitigating threats and improving the management of habitats could potentially keep the nocturnal burrow dwellers going a while longer.
You can read highlights from the damning report for yourself via the link below.