Earlier this year, this unique and iconic species was listed as threatened in Victoria for the first time.
Collecting important environmental DNA (eDNA) data will be the first step to reversing platypus population decline.
The Victorian Government through DELWP, World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia and many generous philanthropists, including The Ross Trust, Capricorn Foundation, Fouress Foundation and PMF Foundation have provided support and funding for the project to launch in Victoria this year.
Samples will be gathered by citizen scientists during the 2021 platypus breeding season (August-October), to be analysed in the lab by key project partner, EnviroDNA.
With this data, scientists will be able to map platypus populations across the state, highlighting platypus refuge areas that can be immediately supported. This project will be utilising innovative eDNA technology, which can detect the DNA of animals over large spatial areas.
Fun and easy
EnviroDNA has developed a comprehensive sampling methodology that citizen scientists, including school students, children and community groups, and businesses can easily have fun doing.
Using sampling kits, water samples from more than 1,500 sites across Victoria are being collected by citizen scientists.
Data of this quality and consistency has never been gathered on this scale before in Australia, and potentially the world, making this one of the most significant citizen-science and biodiversity research projects in history.
Odonata has received an overwhelming response to the project already and is calling on all Victorians to take part in this world first project.
How to get involved
Go to the Great Australian Platypus Search website to select your sampling sites and check out the great resources and videos.
Join the Great Australian Platypus Search Facebook group to stay up to date on project news and developments.
The Great Australian Platypus Search app (available for iOS and Android) will be used for in-field data collection.
Once you have selected your sampling sites, make sure to download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
Page last updated: 31/08/21