Is the platypus in danger of extinction? - Know your situation

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The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), for some the rarest animal that exists, is an Australian mammal, belonging to the order of the monotremes, whose anatomy is very unusual. It has a snout shaped like a duck's bill, it has a beaver's tail and also legs that are between those of an otter and those of waterfowl. Another of the curiosities of the platypus is that they lay eggs from which their young are born. Although it is a mammalian animal and has mammary glands with which it feeds its young, it lays eggs like reptiles, birds and other non-mammalian animals. Amazing, right? In addition, and as if that were not enough, it is one of the only poisonous mammals that exist, specifically the male has spurs on its hind legs that release a non-lethal poison for humans, but capable of weakening us. On the other hand, the platypus is an excellent swimmer endemic to the rivers of eastern Australia and spends most of the day swimming in search of prey on which it feeds, as it is a carnivorous animal. Their diet is basically made up of annelids, crabs, larvae, and shrimp.

We can say that, without a doubt, it is one of the most curious and strange animals in the world. Therefore, many people wonder if this animal is in danger. Now that you know some of the characteristics of platypus, we encourage you to continue reading this Green Ecologist article in which you will discover the answer to the question: Is the platypus in danger of extinction?

Is the platypus in danger of extinction or not?

We will start this section by revealing the main doubt. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the platypus is near threatened, Thus, not in danger of extinction. This does not mean that their populations are in a favorable situation, but rather this classification indicates that, although today platypus are not at risk of extinction, it is need to stay alert and monitor their populations to avoid extinctions in the near future.

Meanwhile, if you wonder how many platypus there are in the world today, there is no completely accurate data. However, the IUCN estimates that there are currently between 30,000 to 300,000 specimens, but unfortunately and like other species in the world, platypus they are not free from the threats that put their populations at risk. In the following sections we will tell you what are the main factors that threaten the existence of the platypus.

Climate change

Nowadays, climate change It is an environmental problem that affects all species, including us humans. In particular, the platypus is affected by frequent drought events and extreme weather conditions caused by excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We must not forget that the platypus is a semi-aquatic species, Therefore, the lack of water directly impacts their populations.

We recommend you read this other post about Animals in danger of extinction due to climate change.

Habitat destruction

As we mentioned in the previous section, the platypus is a semi-aquatic animal that inhabits the rivers and streams of eastern Australia. Therefore, the dams and reservoirs built on the watercourses they inhabit have caused a severe alteration of their habitat. On the other hand, the growing urbanization causes a greater demand for fresh water and also higher levels of water pollution which, together with the construction of dams, lead to the platypus habitat degradation.

We recommend reading about the Destruction of the environment and habitat: causes and consequences.

Lack of information

Although the lack of information does not appear to be a harmful cause, many researchers claim that the platypus is exposed to more threats than is believed, which would lead to classify this species as vulnerable to extinction, that is, closer to the endangered category.

Meanwhile, the insufficient information available on this species could condemn the platypus to extinction because, possibly, they are not taking the necessary measures. necessary conservation measures to ensure the future of the species.

How to help the endangered platypus

Now that you know why the platypus is in danger of extinction, or on the way to it because it is already in a state of near threatened, we will tell you what individual actions you can incorporate to help the platypus.

  • Reduce your carbon footprint. As we mentioned at the beginning, climate change puts the existence of platypus at risk. Therefore, if you incorporate habits with a lower carbon footprint such as consuming more vegetables than meat and using more bicycles than cars, you will be helping the platypus.
  • Pay attention to the products you consume. Many cleaning products are made up of chemicals that then end up in the river polluting its waters. Likewise, fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture also heavily pollute water bodies. You can start by checking the components of these products and choosing those that are biodegradable and in the case of food, those that are organic.
  • Join the cause. There are many private organizations that collect money to carry out species conservation programs and even platypus conservation. The advantage of these organizations is that you can directly help the platypus from anywhere in the world.
  • Find out about the problem of species extinction. It is necessary that in the face of a global problem we remain informed in order to be able to demand that the rulers take action on the matter.

Here you can learn more about Why it is important to protect endangered animals.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is the platypus in danger of extinction?We recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals.

  • Platypus Token (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Red list of threatened species. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Recovered from:
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