Platypus rescue centre to be refuge for at-risk animal

Dozens of wild at-risk platypuses will be able to find safe refuge at a state-of-the-art conservation centre at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The purpose-built facility will house up to 65 of the native monotremes during severe environmental events such as droughts, bushfires or floods.

The Platypus Rescue HQ, which opened at the zoo at Dubbo in western NSW on Tuesday, houses rescue and rehabilitation facilities, a research centre to study the animal's behaviour and a pre-release area to prepare them to return to the wild.

The Platypus Rescue HQ
The HQ has rehabilitation facilities, a research centre and a public platypus habitat.

It also houses a public, purpose-built platypus habitat.

Established at a cost of $12.1 million, the centre is aimed at filling gaps in experts' knowledge about the species' biology, genetics and breeding behaviour.

The platypus is susceptible to the impacts of climate change and habitat loss, and its numbers are in decline in many key habitat areas.

A platypus
Up to 65 platypuses will be able to stay at the centre during severe weather events such as floods.

NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said the platypus centre would support the future of the much-loved and iconic Australian animal.

“We’re committed to supporting the population of this species, protecting them from the impacts of climate change and habitat loss, and preserving their numbers in the wild for years to come," she said.

The Platypus Rescue HQ
It's hoped experts will be able to learn more about the species' biology, genetics and breeding.

Taronga Conservation Society Australia chief executive Cameron Kerr said the facility would bring together global experts to protect the animals, which were the "silent victims of climate change".

The facility has been jointly funded by the NSW government, Taronga Conservation Society Australia and philanthropic donors.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store