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Platypus Research with Tahneal Hawke

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This week on Boiling Point, Cat and Jake are joined by UNSW PhD candidate Tahneal Hawke to talk about her research on Platypus.

Once considered a hoax, platypus are truly unique. Their nocturnal and aquatic lifestyle make research difficult. Until recently it was unclear how stable platypus populations currently are. Tahneal found evidence for a decline, especially in river beds and creeks that were altered by humans.

Tahneal’s research is focused on assessing long-term changes in platypus populations and the current impacts of river regulation on platypus population dynamics. She has particular interest in the use of historical records for monitoring long-term population changes and to highlight shifting baselines of abundance. The main objective of Tahneal’s research project is to quantify the short and long-term effects of river regulation, the construction of dams, and the alteration of flow regimes on platypus populations. Tahneal investigates population dynamics, including age structure, sex ratio, survival and dispersal in regulated and unregulated rivers across NSW and VIC.

Credit of picture: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

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