I spy platypi

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Despite being one of Australia’s most iconic animals, relatively little is known about how the platypus is faring in the wild – but a new citizen science project aims to change this.

The Australian Platypus Monitoring Network (APMN) is due to launch on Thursday 2 May and is designed to help track platypus populations.

Research conducted by the Australian Platypus Conservancy (APC) over the past decade has demonstrated that standardised visual monitoring can very effectively describe how local platypus numbers vary through time.

The APC is now set to expand existing monitoring efforts by launching the APMN. A dedicated website [platypusnetwork.org.au] and app will promote volunteer participation and facilitate immediate uploading of sightings records in the field.

For those who cannot monitor on a regular basis, it is important to remember that a report of a ‘one-off’ sighting is still of value. Platypus reports can be submitted via the Conservancy website [platypus.asn.au]. Reports of sightings of the Australian water-rat/rakali are also welcome.

The APMN will be unveiled as part of a talk on platypus conservation by Geoff Williams, Director of the APC, on Thursday 2 May 7pm at ANU’s Robertson Building.

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