The platypus is ‘on the brink of extinction’ according to researchers behind a new study published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation.
The study, called A stitch in time – Synergistic impacts to platypus metapopulation extinction risk, is the first Australia-wide research to try and quantify the animal population.
Now scientists say the platypus is facing a number of threats – including extreme weather conditions, habitat destruction, and predation – which are having a devastating impact on numbers.
‘Increased risk of extinction’
According to the study’s abstract, platypus numbers were predicted to decline by 47 percent – 66 percent over the next 50 years. But taking climate change projections into account, and the impact this will have, researchers adjusted their estimate to a 51 percent to 73 percent decline by 2070.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Dr. Gilad Bino, lead author of the study, said: “These dangers further expose the platypus to even worse local extinctions with no capacity to repopulate areas.”
He added that these conditions could leave the species on the ‘brink of extinction’.