Australia’s devastating drought has had a crucial impact on the country’s unique mammal, the platypus, and there are growing reports that dry rivers will leave the platypus stranded,media New Atlas reported. According to a new study, at least in many areas, they may be at real risk of extinction.
Led by scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the researchers analysed human factors such as agricultural land clearing, dispersal of waterways caused by dams/fences, and climate change. In addition, some platypus habitats have been destroyed by the current drought in Australia, which has caused river drainage.
Taking into account these and other factors, the projected rate of expansion is estimated to have almost halved the number of platypus over the next 50 years, leading to the extinction of local plasmid populations, reflecting the continued decline since European colonization.
Dr Gilad Bino, of the University of New South Wales, said: “There is an urgent need for national conservation of this unique mammal and other species through increased monitoring, tracking trends, mitigating threats and protecting and improving the management of freshwater habitats. Dr Bino added: “These dangers further expose the platypus to more severe local extinction and can no longer reproduce in these areas.” “
The status of the platypus is not currently listed in most parts of Australia, although the animal is officially considered “endangered” in South Australia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently downgraded its status to “endangered”.
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Biological Protection.