Experts from the University of Queensland have discovered that five creeks and waterways in Brisbane, including Enoggera, no longer have any platypus or platypus DNA.
In the last five years, the researchers sampled 54 waterways in and around Brisbane to determine the presence of the semi-aquatic animal, where 36 areas had previously recorded sightings.
After repeated samplings and tests, the researchers determined that the platypus population has disappeared in Enoggera, Bremer River, Kedron Brook, Scrubby and Slacks Creeks.
Researcher Tamielle Brunt said that these creeks and waterways have become uninhabitable to the platypus. It used to be easy to detect their presence since they swim and defecate in the water, leaving their skin and hair cells in the water samples.
But as Enoggera has been drying up, Ms Brunt said that the platypus will need a more permanent water source for their food, their safety and their procreation.
The expert said that there are many factors that contribute to making the Brisbane waterways uninhabitable for the platypus, aside from the ongoing droughts. Ms Brunt cited that the cutting of native trees, soil erosion and increase in sedimentation, and the damming system have made natural pools of water shallower for these animals.
The researcher said that they are still gathering more data to mitigate the effects of urbanisation on these species. Her team is aiming to understand what else can be done to rehabilitate the waterways and creeks, as well as protect and keep tabs on the species that inhabit these sites.