Scientific testing of water samples from the Georges River catchment indicates that platypus are present in the Campbelltown area.
Applying a new technique, environmental DNA (eDNA) testing has been conducted over the past few months as part of the Platypus Pals project.
More than 25 volunteers helped to collect samples at 30 sites on the river during September and February.
The preliminary results triggered more focused testing of areas to determine key hotspots of the platypus population and provide a more conclusive result.
“Confirming the presence of this elusive mammal in the river is reassurance of the overall health of the river and would drive more actions to protect these unique Australian animals,” said Mayor George Brticevic.
“I would like to thank everyone who volunteered to get the samples and work to support this important project, particularly Dr Tom Grant from the University New South Wales who helped prepare the program,” Cr Brticevic said.
The project is funded by $20,000 from the Communities Environment Program through Macarthur Federal MP Dr Mike Freelander.
“I am proud to support this project and I thank the wonderful team members of Campbelltown City Council and volunteers who assisted in this project,” Dr Freelander said.
“Macarthur is home to some truly unique species of flora and fauna,”Dr Freelander said.
“It is imperative that we adequately protect our diverse local species, such as our local platypus population, in the face of development and urban sprawl,”he said.
“It is my hope that through projects such as this, we can help to conserve Macarthur’s flora and fauna and ensure our future generations can also enjoy them.”
The second round of results are expected to be available in the coming weeks.