Researchers will begin sampling water from the Campaspe river next week in a bid to find out more about platypus populations in central Victoria.
The testing at Kyneton, Carlsruhe and Malmsbury is the first step in a project that will put the region’s platypus under the microscope.
To find out more about platypus numbers researchers from the Australian Platypus Conservancy will send the samples to be tested for particles of DNA floating in the water.
If there’s platypus DNA in the water scientists know that the animal is present where they sampled.
Researcher Geoff Williams said that scientists don’t know much about platypuses' situation in rivers like the Campaspe and the Coliban. It’s possible they’re under pressure, but their populations could also be thriving.
“Most of the evidence suggests the animal is still relatively widespread,” Mr Williams said.
“There is also some reason to believe that numbers have actually stabilised and may actually be going up based on sightings.”
The testing is part of a broader project tracking platypus in the region.
If you’ve seen a platypus, you can let the researchers know at: platypus.asn.au
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