WIRES and Taronga Team Up To Deliver World-Leading Platypus Facilities

WIRES and Taronga Team Up To Deliver World-Leading Platypus Facilities

Friday, February 16, 2024

Earlier this week, the Taronga Conservation Society officially unveiled their Platypus Rescue HQ, an exciting new facility to safeguard this iconic native species.

WIRES provided over $1 million in crucial operational funding, ensuring that this world-first platypus rehabilitation and research facility could be constructed in the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Optimal, Species-Specific Care

Up to sixty-five displaced and injured platypuses can be housed within the Platypus Rescue HQ, with separate sections dedicated to Platypuses in different stages of rehabilitation.

Taronga Zoo's facilities will also be used to create essential conservation populations so platypuses can be reintroduced to regions sustainably.

The University of New South Wales and San Diego Zoo, who also funded the Rescue HQ, will use the facilities to perform significant research into platypus physiology and breeding. This vital research will help us better understand how to care for and protect our iconic platypuses now and into the future.

WIRES and Taronga Team Up To Deliver World-Leading Platypus Facilities

Need for Collaboration and Funding

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has upgraded the Platypus status to ‘Near Threatened’. Platypus populations are acutely affected by flooding and droughts brought about by climate change, habitat clearing and predation from introduced species.

Therefore, opportunities to fund projects such as the Platypus Rescue HQ must be taken so WIRES can help create facilities that will support wildlife conservation efforts in the long term.

"This facility is essential in supporting the extension of our rehabilitation work, so platypus have somewhere to go in a disaster or emergency. We recognise that it will take great partnerships and collaborations to save a species. This is one of many programs we've got with Taronga, and this is a critical partnership to help support saving this species." WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor.

Taronga Conservation Society's CEO Cameron Kerr echoed Leanne Taylor's sentiments, who recognised that "Saving wildlife is a complex issue, and we all have to work together to do that. So, the relationship with WIRES is fundamental to this program's success. WIRES have been a fabulous long-term supporter of ours, and the work and money they've put in to support this program is critical to saving Platypus."

This collaboration underscores WIRES' broader mission to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife in the face of growing threats such as climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species. By supporting the Platypus Rescue HQ, WIRES is not only helping to safeguard the future of the platypus but also contributing to vital research efforts aimed at understanding and mitigating the challenges these iconic creatures face.

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