Platypuses, like most Australian wildlife, are potentially impacted by a range of human-induced changes to their environment. Although protected in Australia, platypuses are currently regarded as ‘a species of least concern’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This is largely because the overall distribution of platypuses has not changed significantly since the European settlement of Australia. However, anecdotal evidence indicates there have been some localised declines and extinctions but empirical data is poor due the difficulties in conducting surveys and the lack of long-term studies on platypus populations.
Understanding the occurrence and distribution of a species is essential for effective management and conservation. Local knowledge is an invaluable source of information, which is often overlooked in ecological studies. Many potentially useful observations of platypuses are made by local residents, workers, tourists, fishermen, campers, hikers/bushwalkers and general outdoor recreationists.
platypusSPOT offers wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to contribute to a community-driven database on platypus distribution, post photos and videos, view platypus sightings in your area, and interact with other ‘platypusSPOTters’. This information can then be used to help assess the status of platypuses and develop appropriate conservation strategies.