Environment Mystery mammals head downtown

Mystery mammals head downtown

They’re notoriously elusive and usually opt for a quiet life away from the city.

Researchers at Western Sydney University and a team of citizen scientists have found evidence of platypus populations living in surprising places on Sydney’s northern fringe.

The team collected water samples from various catchment areas and tested them for DNA.

“Interestingly, it was in the more urban areas, in close proximity to roads or properties, that we detected traces of platypus DNA,” Dr Michelle Ryan said.

“In the more remote areas, away from major roadways and developments – where the habitat and conditions appeared to be better, and you’d think it would be more likely for platypus to be living – we found no DNA traces,” she said.

Dr Ryan said the findings were encouraging but if the platypus populations were healthy, she would have expected to have had more positive DNA results.

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