Last year Cattai Hills Environment Network (CHEN) volunteers sampled for platypus DNA using a new innovation technology called environmental DNA (eDNA) across the Cattai and Little Cattai Creek catchments. We got back 9 positive results out of the 18 sites that were tested! A very exciting result.
This year, in June 2021, CHEN got the opportunity to work with Sydney Water and Western Sydney University (WSU), to sample double the amount of sites across the catchments, 36 sites…
With the help of a group of community volunteers, and Dr. Michelle Ryan from WSU, we sampled our waterways for platypus DNA.
These results will give us a great idea of how platypus are using the waterways across these catchments. This is very exciting stuff and when we do get back these results CHEN has a Platypus Landcare group that is waiting to help restore and look after these platypus key sites.
If you live in the Hills Shire and would like to get involved with CHEN or Platypus Landcare, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We were also featured on ABC, so check out our video HERE
Our sampling would not have been possible without the generosity of volunteer citizen scientists (including a number of CHEN members) and students from Western Sydney University (WSU).
A couple of our eDNA testing sites were located on O’Haras Creek and Scaly Bark Creek on the outskirts of Kenthurst. A particular thank you to Andrew Callaghan the Captain of the Kenthurst Rural Fire Service who very kindly agreed to help our eDNA water sampling team get to these sampling sites that were accessed by local fire trails. We visited some beautiful spots and what appeared to be some good platypus habitat.
Some very exciting news to share! The results of our eDNA tests have arrived. Western Sydney University have written all about it in their article “Evidence of platypus population found near major Sydney urban development“.
The Key Points are:
Citizen scientists and Western Sydney University researchers have found DNA evidence of platypus in north-west Sydney
The findings give credibility to historical sightings over the years
The discovery also comes amid major urban development of the area