The platypus is one of Australia’s most iconic native animals, but it is threatened with local extinction. As a part of our mission to Regenerate Australia, WWF-Australia is at the forefront of research on restoring, protecting and rewilding platypus populations to safeguard their future in our waterways.
The platypus is one of the world's most unique animals. Along with the echidna, they are the only mammals on the planet that lay eggs.
The platypus usually lives alone, making its home in freshwater systems. When they’re not looking for shrimp, swimming beetles, water bugs and tadpoles to eat, they spend their time in their burrows, which they build in the banks of creeks, rivers or ponds.
The platypus once thrived across the eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania. But the constant threat of bushfires, deforestation, drought, pollution and predators means the future of this extraordinary monotreme lies in the balance. Worryingly, they are now at risk of becoming locally extinct in Sydney's Royal National Park. In areas such as the Murray-Darling Basin, platypus populations have declined by almost 31% over the past 30 years. And in some urban catchments near Melbourne, their numbers have decreased by as much as 65%. This decline cannot continue. We must take action today.
By protecting the platypus , we will safeguard the livelihoods of so many of Australia’s other incredible animals. Scroll down to see the amazing work going in to rewild this iconic species.