Webinar: Urban platypuses - threats and challenges

Get a snapshot of 13 years of platypus monitoring data, presented by wildlife ecologist Josh Griffiths. Josh will discuss his work on platypuses with research groups cesar/EnviroDNA, including their conservation status and threats and running the Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program. This webinar was recorded on 6 August, 2020.

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The platypus was recently upgraded to ‘Near Threatened’ due to mounting evidence of population declines, localised extinctions and increasing degradation of their aquatic habitat. However, it is recognised that there is a lack of data on population status or trajectories throughout their range to fully understand their true conservation status and impacts of various threats.

The Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program is the largest monitoring program for platypuses and the only one in an urban environment that poses unique challenges to aquatic fauna. Widespread declines have been identified through long-term live-trapping and, more recently, environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys – but some recovery is evident since the end of the Millennium Drought and improving waterway management.


If you’re interested in pursuing the topic further, browse the following resources:

  • Platypus census – help build our knowledge of local platypus populations so we can manage our waterways to support them into the future.
  • PlatypusSPOT – report your own platypus sightings on the website or app.

About the presenter

Josh Griffiths is a wildlife ecologist with research groups cesar/EnviroDNA, specialising in the iconic platypus.

Melbourne Water and industry professionals have partnered to bring you Waterwatch ‘Expert Connections’, a webinar series connecting industry professionals with the volunteers, community groups and other practitioners working together to protect our waterways. View all events in this series.