Platypus Pals has made some exciting discoveries.
Using a new scientific technique called eDNA, we've confirmed that the Upper Georges River is home to a small, isolated population of platypus and a population of endangered Macquarie Perch.
With the help of academics, local and state government staff, not-for-profit organisations and community members, we collected water samples from selected sites along the Georges River and its key tributaries to test for platypus and other aquatic animal DNA.
Data captured from this project will also help staff investigate the key issues to ensure platypus and Macquarie perch are helped to thrive. These could include targeting areas for pollution reduction, habitat enhancement, environmental restoration works, opera house yabby trap intervention and education with river users such as anglers.
With funding support from the Australian Government's Communities Environment Program, the project will continue to engage the Campbelltown community in platypus conservation along the Georges River through:
- Installing platypus educational signs at hotspots along the Georges River
- Developing a long term citizen science program with community members to monitor and record sighting via the PlatypuSPOT website and app.
Read the Platypus Pals report(PDF, 17MB) to see the results of the project.
What is eDNA
Environmental DNA (eDNA) tests for the presence and strength of Platypus DNA in the water.
Water samples from the Georges River were sent to the lab where this exciting new scientific technology was used to investigate the presence of platypus by detecting genetic material left behind by the animal. It also helps determine their current distribution along the Georges River.
All data is forwarded to the Great Australian Platypus Search and PlatypuSPOT which forms part of the national assessment to improve the health of platypus across Australia.
For more information please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0447 234 373.
Thank you to Tom Grant from the University of New South Wales, the National Parks Association Macarthur Branch, Georges Riverkeeper, our environmental consultant, EnviroDNA, and all the community volunteers who helped collect samples.
The project was made possible with support from:
- Macarthur Federal MP Dr Mike Freelander through the Federal Government’s Communities Environment Program
- The OzFish Landcare NSW partnership
- Funding support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts
- BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing and Tate Endowment Fund.