The current and historical distribution of the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus was studied in the Richmond River catchment northern New South Wales in order to determine whether changes in distribution have occurred over the past 60-70 years, sightings were collected from residents, government departments and by reviewing existing records. A range of methods was used to collect platypus sightings from residents, including a media campaign, questionnaires and a resident survey, where people in more remote areas of the catchment were approached and asked if they had sighted platypuses. The public provided information on 300 sites. Eighty-two per cent of these were occupied by platypuses, 11% were previously but no longer occupied by platypuses, and 6% were sites where platypuses have never been recorded. Public sightings indicate that platypuses are widely distributed throughout the catchment, and that they are more commonly sighted in areas of basalt than sandstone substrates. The distribution of platypuses appears to have contracted in some parts of the catchment.
Distribution of platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in the Richmond River Catchment, northern New South Wales
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D. A. Rohweder, P. R. Baverstock; Distribution of platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in the Richmond River Catchment, northern New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 June 1999; 31 (1): 30–37. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.1999.005
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