Calls to list the platypus as a threatened species

By Terri Butler MP

01 December 2020

Another Aussie icon is at risk of extinction under the Morrison Government, as researchers and environmental groups call for the listing of the platypus to be listed as threatened.

Landmark research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) found a decline in platypus observations of 32 percent in NSW and 27 percent in Queensland, and reductions of 18-65% in some Melbourne catchments since 1995.
 
UNSW researchers, the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF-Australia and Humane Society International have nominated the platypus to be listed as a threatened species.
 
Last summer’s catastrophic bushfires burnt a large area of the best-remaining platypus habitat in south-eastern Australia, and thousands of these monotremes died. 
 
Australians are already fearing the loss of the koala, with an inquiry finding that koalas are at risk of being extinct in New South Wales by 2050.
 
Now researchers are concerned that platypus populations will disappear from some of our rivers without returning.
 
Urgent national action is needed, but the Minister seems unperturbed about the loss of our Aussie favourites.
 
It’s not just the koala and the platypus that are in trouble. Under the Coalition 170 out of 171 outstanding threatened species recovery plans are overdue and the Morrison Government has no plan to get them done.
 
In fact, when Labor asked the Minister about recovery plans in Question Time, she accused the Opposition of being too focused on “plans”.
 
The time for announcements and photo ops has long passed. Our aussie icons need a government that will deliver.

TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2020