On Wednesday, March 3rd, Australian conservationists unveiled plans to build the World’s first refuge for platypus to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the mammal faces extinction due to climate change.
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the New South Wales State government said they would build the specialist facility. It will include primarily ponds and burrows for the semiaquatic creatures at a zoo 391 km (243 miles) from Sydney by 2022. and could house up to 65 platypuses. Concerns about the platypus going extinct have been heightened since the once-in-a-generation wildfires devastated 12.6 million hectares (31 million acres) of the bush, nearly Greece’s size, in late 2019 and early 2020.
“There is so much to learn about the platypus and we know so little,” Taronga CEO Cameron Kerr told reporters. “These facilities will be critical in building our knowledge so that we don’t let this iconic creature slip off the earth.”