Photo from: nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
A study published on January 20 showed that the prolonged drought and other effects of climate change are causing Australia’s unique platypus population towards extinction, according to a report on The Daily Mail.
According to the researchers, the animal has already disappeared from up to 40% of its historical range on Australia’s east coast due to the drought, land clearing, pollution, and building of dams, which fragment their habitat.
They made a prediction that if this continues, the platypus population is going to drop another 47-66% over the next 50 years.
If the condition worsens, the platypus population may diminish to up to 73% less by 2070.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the platypus as “near threatened.”
However, the researchers at the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Ecosystem Science said damage to river systems caused by years of little rainfall and high temperatures had worsened the possibilities for the platypus.
The platypus is one of the world’s strangest animals. It is the only mammal that lays eggs. In terms of appearance, it is rather odd too because it has a bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, feet of an otter, and a venomous spur on its hind leg.
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