Knowledge of platypus abundance across the distribution of the species is limited. They are generally considered common, but there is mounting evidence of localised declines and extinctions (Bino et al. 2019; Hawke et al. 2019a; Woinarski et al. 2014). There are few studies able to assess changes in populations trends, most of which have been undertaken at relatively localised scales, highlighting knowledge gaps across the range. We compiled available platypus literature (peer reviewed articles, reports, theses; 220 sources), resulting in 127 studies which undertook surveys or used platypus samples that could be assigned to a river region (Geoscience Australia 1997). Studies mainly focused on populations in Tasmania, the greater Melbourne area, and south eastern NSW.

The distribution and number of studies (peer reviewed articles, reports, and theses) across the distribution of the platypus:

Fig6

 

List of platypus research papers

  • Armistead, R. & Weeks, A., 2009. The distribution of platypuses in waterways from greater Melbourne: spring 2008 and autumn 2009 survey results. Report prepared for Melbourne Water. CESAR Consultants, Parkville.
  • Bethge, P., 2002. Energetics and foraging behaviour of the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.
  • Bethge, P., Munks, S. & Nicol, S., 2001. Energetics of foraging and locomotion in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 171(6), pp.497–506.
  • Bino, G. et al., 2019. The platypus: evolutionary history, biology, and an uncertain future. Journal of mammalogy, 100(2), pp.308–327.
  • Bino, G., Grant, T.R. & Kingsford, R.T., 2015. Life history and dynamics of a platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) population: four decades of mark-recapture surveys. Scientific reports, 5, p.16073.
  • Bino, G., Kingsford, R.T. & Wintle, B.A., 2020. A stitch in time-Synergistic impacts to platypus metapopulation extinction risk. Biological Conservation, 242, p.108399.
  • Bloink, C., 2020. Platypus and blackfish eDNA sampling 2020. Report prepared for Melbourne Water. Ecology Australia, Fairfield.
  • Brunt, T. et al., 2018. Prime real estate for the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): Habitat requirements in a peri-urban environment. Queensland Naturalist, 56, p.25.
  • Bryant, A.G., 1993. An evaluation of the habitat characteristics of pools used by platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the upper Macquarie River system, New South Wales. Honours thesis, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Burrell, H.J., 1927. The Platypus., Angus & Robertson. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Connolly, J. & Obendorf, D., 1998. Distribution, captures and physical characteristics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in Tasmania. Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.231–237.
  • Connolly, J.H., 2009. A review of mucormycosis in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Australian Journal of Zoology, 57(4), pp.235–244.
  • Connolly, J.H. et al., 2016. Distribution and characteristics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the Murrumbidgee catchment. Australian Mammalogy, 38(1), pp.58–67.
  • Cushing, N. and Markwell, K., 2009. Platypus diplomacy: animal gifts in international relations. Journal of Australian Studies, 33(3), pp.255-271
  • Ellem, B., Bryant, A. & O’Connor, A., 1998. Statistical modelling of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) habitat preferences using generalised linear models. Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.281–285.
  • Furlan, E. et al., 2013. Dispersal patterns and population structuring among platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, throughout south-eastern Australia. Conservation Genetics, 14(4), pp.837–853.
    Furlan, E. et al., 2012. Small population size and extremely low levels of genetic diversity in island populations of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Ecology and Evolution, 2(4), pp.844–857.
  • Gardner, J. & Serena, M., 1995. Spatial-organization and movement patterns of adult male platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus (Monotremata, Ornithorhynchidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 43, pp.91–103.
  • Goldney, D., 1995. Distribution, Abundance and ecology of the platypus in the Thredbo River. The Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage. Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.
  • Gongora, J. et al., 2012. Genetic structure and phylogeography of platypuses revealed by mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Zoology, 286(2), pp.110–119.
  • Grant, T. et al., 2004. Breeding in a Free-ranging Population of Platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in the Upper Shoalhaven River, New South Wales-a 27 Year Study. In Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. p. 227.
  • Grant, T., 2004. Captures, capture mortality, age and sex ratios of platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, during studies over 30 years in the upper Shoalhaven River in New South Wales. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 125, pp.217–226.
  • Grant, T., 1998. Current and historical occurrence of platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, around Sydney. Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.257–266.
  • Grant, T. et al., 1992. Movements and burrow use by platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in the Thredbo River, New South Wales. In Platypus and echidnas: 263-267. Augee. M. L (Ed). The Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Sydney.
  • Grant, T. & Denny, M.J.S., 1991. Distribution of the platypus in Australia with guidelines for management. A report to Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service., Mount King Ecological Surveys.
  • Grant, T. & Fanning, D., 2007. Platypus. 4th Ed. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.
  • Grant, T., Griffiths, M. & Leckie, R., 1983. Aspects of Lactation in the Platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus (Monotremata), in Waters of Eastern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Zoology, 31(6), pp.881–889.
  • Grant, T. & Temple-Smith, P., 1998. Growth of nestling and juvenile platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.221–230.
  • Grant, T.R., 2004. Depth and substrate selection by platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in the lower Hastings River, New South Wales. In Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 125, p. 235. Linnean Society of New South Wales, 2004.
  • Grant, T.R., 1995. The Platypus: A Unique Mammal, 2nd edn. University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney.
  • Grant, T.R. and Temple-Smith, P.D., 2003. Conservation of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus: threats and challenges. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management6(1), pp.5-18.
  • Griffiths, J., Maino, J. & Weeks, A., 2019. Identifying key flow variables and quantifying their impact to platypus populations. Report prepared for Melbourne Water. Cesar, VIC, Australia.
  • Griffiths, J., van Rooyen, A., 2015. Platypus distribution and relative abundance in the Mackenzie River 2015. Report prepared for Wimmera Catchment Management Authority. Cesar, VIC, Australia.
  • Gust, N. et al., 2009. Distribution, prevalence and persistence of mucormycosis in Tasmanian platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Australian Journal of Zoology, 57(4), pp.245–254.
  • Gust, N. & Griffiths, J., 2011. Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) body size, condition and population structure in Tasmanian river catchments: variability and potential mucormycosis impacts. Wildlife Research, 38(4), pp.271–289.
  • Hawke, T. et al., Fine-scale movements and interactions of platypuses, and the impact of an environmental flushing flow. Freshwater Biology. 2020
  • Hawke, T., Bino, G. & Kingsford, R.T., 2019a. A silent demise: Historical insights into population changes of the iconic platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Global Ecology and Conservation, 20, 00720.
  • Hawke, T., Bino, G. & Kingsford, R.T., 2019b. Platypus: Paucities and peril. A response to: Limitations on the use of historical and database sources to identify changes in distribution and abundance of the platypus. Global Ecology and Conservation, 21, e00857
  • Hawkins, M. & Battaglia, A., 2009. Breeding behaviour of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in captivity. Australian Journal of Zoology, 57, pp.283–293.
  • Klamt, M., Thompson, R. & Davis, J., 2011. Early response of the platypus to climate warming. Global Change Biology, 17(10), pp.3011–3018.
  • Koch, N. et al., 2006. The platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in headwater streams, and effects of pre-Code forest clearfelling, in the South Esk River catchment, Tasmania, Australia. Australian Zoologist, 33(4), pp.458–473.
  • Koch, N., Munks, .S.A., Utesch, M., 2001. Distribution, relative abundance and condition of platypus Ornithorynchus anatinus in the upper catchment streams of the South Esk river, with particular emphasis on Order 1 streams. In: Upper Esk Platypus Research Progress Report, Hobart, Tasmania.
  • Kolomyjec, S.H. et al., 2009. Population genetics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): a fine-scale look at adjacent river systems. Australian Journal of Zoology, 57(4), pp.225–234.
  • Lunney, D. et al., 1998. Determining the distribution of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the Eden region of south-eastern New South Wales through community-based surveys. Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.239–250.
  • Lunney, D. et al., 2004. Distribution of the Platypus in the Bellinger Catchment from Community Knowledge and Field Survey and its Relationship to River Disturbance. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 125, pp.243–258.
  • Macgregor, J. et al., 2015. Novel use of in-stream microchip readers to monitor wild platypuses. Pacific Conservation Biology, 21(1), pp.101–101.
  • Marchant, R. & Grant, T., 2015. The productivity of the macroinvertebrate prey of the platypus in the upper Shoalhaven River, New South Wales. Marine and Freshwater Research, 66(12), pp.1128–1137.
  • Martin, H.C. et al., 2018. Insights into platypus population structure and history from whole-genome sequencing. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35(5), pp.1238–1252.
  • McKay, H. et al., 2001. Gadi Mirrabooka: Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming. Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara, California.
  • McLachlan-Troup, T.A., 2007. Ecology and functional importance of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in Australian freshwater habitats. PhD thesis. University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • Mitrovski, P. 2008. The distribution of platypus in the Upper Wimmera Catchment. Report to Wimmera Catchment Management Authority. Cesar Consultants, Parkville, VIC.
  • Munday, B., Whittington, R. & Stewart, N., 1998. Disease conditions and subclinical infections of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 353(1372), pp.1093–1099.
  • Robin, L 2005. The platypus frontier: eggs, Aborigines and empire in 19th century Queensland, in In Rose D. & Davis R. (Eds.), Dislocating the Frontier: Essaying the Mystique of the Outback, e-book, JSTOR, viewed 22 October 2020, pp. 99–120, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbjbt.10
  • Robinson, G.A. & Plomley, N.J.B., 2008. Friendly Mission: The Tasmanian Journals and Papers of George Augustus Robinson, 1829-1834. 2nd ed. Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Quintus, Launceston, Tasmania.
  • Robinson, K.W., 1954. Heat tolerances of Australian monotremes and marsupials. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences, 7(3), pp.348–360.
  • Rohweder, D., 1992. Management of Platypus in the Richmond River Catchment, Northern New South Wales. PhD thesis, University of New England-Northern Rivers.
  • Rohweder, D. & Baverstock, P., 1999. Distribution of platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in the Richmond River catchment, northern New South Wales. Australian Zoologist, 31(1), pp.30–37.
  • Scott, A.C. & Grant, T., 1997. Impacts of water management in the Murray-Darling Basin on the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster), CSIRO Land and Water Canberra.
  • Serena, M. et al., 2001. Effect of food availability and habitat on the distribution of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) foraging activity. Australian Journal of Zoology, 49, pp.263–277.
  • Serena, M. et al., 1998. Use of stream and river habitats by the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in an urban fringe environment. Australian Journal of Zoology, 46, pp.267–282.
  • Serena, M., 1994. Use of time and space by platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus: Monotremata) along a Victorian stream. Journal of Zoology, 232, pp.117–131.
  • Serena, M. et al., 2014. Variation in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) life-history attributes and population trajectories in urban streams. Australian Journal of Zoology, 62, pp.223–234.
    Serena, M. & Grant, T., 2017. Effect of flow on platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) reproduction and related population processes in the upper Shoalhaven River. Australian Journal of Zoology, 65, pp.130–139.
  • Serena, M. & Pettigrove, V., 2005. Relationship of sediment toxicants and water quality to the distribution of platypus populations in urban streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24(3), pp.679–689.
  • Serena, M. & Williams, G., 2010. Factors contributing to platypus mortality in Victoria. The Victorian Naturalist, 127(5), p.178.
  • Serena, M. & Williams, G., 1997. Population attributes of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island. South Australian Naturalist, 72, pp.28–34.
  • Serena, M. & Williams, G., 1998. Rubber and plastic rubbish: a summary of the hazard posed to platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in suburban habitats. Victorian Naturalist, 115, pp.47–49.
  • Serena, M. & Williams, G.A., 2008. The status of platypus in flood and fire-affected catchments in Gippsland. A report to Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria. Australian Platypus Conservancy.
  • Serena, M. & Williams, G.A., 2012. Movements and cumulative range size of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) inferred from mark-recapture studies. Australian Journal of Zoology, 60(5), pp.352–359.
  • Serena M, Williams G., 2019. Shortcomings in the current MWUPP live-trapping program: Evidence supporting the need for a review of protocols related to live-trapping. Australian Platypus Conservancy.
  • Simmons, P 2013, ‘Looking for Matakupay-The Platypus Project’, Chain React, vol. 1, no.119,  p. 7
  • Temple-Smith, P. & Grant, T., 2001. Uncertain breeding: a short history of reproduction in monotremes. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 13(8), pp.487–497.
  • Temple-Smith, P.D., 1973. Seasonal breeding biology of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus (Shaw, 1799), with special reference to the male. PhD thesis, Australian National University.
  • Thomas, J. et al., 2018. The platypus nest: burrow structure and nesting behaviour in captivity. Australian Journal of Zoology, 65, pp.347–356.
  • Turnbull, R., 1998. Distribution of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the Bombala River catchment, south-eastern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy, 20, pp.251–256.
  • Williams, G.A., 2004. Results of Platypus live-trapping surveys along Mount Emu Creek, Skipton, August 2003-February 2004. Australian Platypus Conservancy. Victoria, Australia.
  • Williams, G.A. & Serena, M., 2000. Assessment of the Value of Fernhill Reservoirs 1 and 2 in Relation to Platypus. A Report to SMEC/Coliban Water. Australian Platypus Conservancy. Victoria, Australia.
  • Williams, G.A. & Serena, M., 2002. Distribution of platypus along the Loddon River (Vaughan Springs area): Results of live-trapping surveys, September and December 2002. Australian Platypus Conservancy. Victoria, Australia.
  • Williams, G.A. & Serena, M., 2019. Results of platypus live-trapping survey along Campbells Creek November 2019. A report to friends of Campbells Creek. Australian Platypus Conservancy. Victoria, Australia.
  • Williams, G.A. & Serena, M., 2006. Results of platypus population surveys in the MacKenzie River catchment, October 2006. Report prepared for Wimmera CMA. Australian Platypus Conservancy, Wiseleigh.
  • Woinarski, J., Burbidge, A. & Harrison, P., 2014. Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012. CSIRO.
  • Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A., 2016. Ornithorhynchus anatinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/40488/0. Downloaded on 28 June 2017.