In partnership with Cesar, Plural developed a community-based mobile application that allows users to submit platypus sightings to aid conservation awareness and further ecological research. The result is platypusSPOT.
Conservation awareness for Australia's waterways
PlatypusSPOT awareness application
Platypuses are widely distributed throughout many urban waterways along the east coast of Australia. Many residents are completely unaware that they are lucky enough to have platypuses in their local creek or river. However, there is growing evidence that platypus numbers are declining. Platypuses and their habitat are vulnerable to a variety of natural and man-made threats that are increasing with climate change and urban development.
The main objectives of the project were to increase awareness through platypusSPOT of where platypuses occur and the threats that may impact populations. This is seen as a key step towards improving conservation outcomes, particularly in urban areas.
PlatypusSPOT has been developed as a citizen science project, that offers users an opportunity to contribute to a community-driven database on platypus sightings. With the use of the mobile application, users can submit and share new sightings, post photos, view platypus sightings in local areas, and interact with other ‘platypusSPOTters’.
The initiative, backed by Google, Melbourne Water and other water authorities, has provided cesar with further data to better understand and plan for the effective management and conservation of our native platypus and its habitat.