RSPCA NSW and Taronga partner to protect the iconic platypus

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Flip tails on a twenty cent coin and you will see one etched in rippling water. In real life, this view is not so common. Our beloved platypus is increasingly facing critical threats to their population. An icon and evolutionary marvel, the platypus is vital to its freshwater ecosystem and its food web. Their loss would be a national tragedy.

This is why RSPCA NSW is partnering with Taronga Conservation Society Australia to establish a new Platypus Rescue and Rehabilitation Facility. The rehabilitation facility will be built using funds generously donated during the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfire crisis, as part of our commitment to wildlife rehabilitation and regeneration in New South Wales. You can read more about where these funds are being sent here.

Platypus sightings have fast declined with the steady loss of their habitat, which has shrunk 22% over the last thirty years. They are the silent victims of climate change, extreme weather, dams, worsening water quality, land-clearing, pollution, predation by invasive animals and accidental drowning in yabby traps. These threats are growing and they are compounding, meaning conservation efforts have never been more of a priority.

The rehabilitation facility will allow platypus who require urgent veterinary care and treatment to receive the help they need. It will provide a place for the emergency translocation of platypus in response to the many processes threatening their survival. Between 9-12 platypus will be housed at any given time at the facility, depending on the sex ratio. Moreover, it will provide an important opportunity to focus on critical research on the platypus and continue their breeding program to restore wild populations.

As it is their animal emblem, the Taronga Conservation Society Australia is passionate about protecting the platypus. RSPCA NSW is thrilled to partner with them to continue our mission of helping all creatures great and small.