Donating to Devils in Danger

Thanks for your comments Chris. Actually teh platypus was one of my reasons for the game because as you say there are parallels – inbreeding seems to have affected their immune system. There is a cache near Lake Lea which is the site of the studies cited below and I noticed the small grants were really helpful – in the order of several hundred dollars. I had always assumed you needed to be Howard Hughes to make a difference.

Anyone who just wants to send a few dollars can paypal me and I’ll roll it together at the end and drop it to the university – hey they can draw th e prize at the same time! (the tax break will more than cover paypal so I’ll top it up as well)
Additional Support for Field Studies

In 1996 $500 was received from Australian Geographic and $1000 from the MA Ingram Trust Fund to cover travel and radiotransmitters. In 1997 $500 was raised via the ‘Adopt A Platypus’ scheme, $500 was donated by Purity Tasmania and $334 was donated by Burnie Field Naturalists group to cover the cost of travel, waders and a transponder scanner. In-kind support for the field studies has also been received from the Deloraine Field Naturalists in the form of invaluable field equipment and field assistance. Field assistance has also been obtained from numerous volunteers throughout 1996 and 1997.

“The failure of past attempts – accidental or intended – to introduce red foxes into the state is probably the single most important difference in predation pressure between most mainland Australian populations and the Tasmanian populations. This may have influenced the extent of diurnal behaviour of Tasmanian platypuses and their capacity to use, with safety, a wider range of refuge options including denning sites in dense above-ground vegetation, such as sphagnum and button grass (Helen Otley,; PTS, unpublished observations). Detailed comparative studies to confirm and document the effects of absence of foxes on the behaviour, habitat usage and survival of Tasmanian platypuses would be useful and may provide a profile of the behaviour and ecology of platypuses prior to the introduction of foxes into the Australian landscape. The continued existence of large populations of three marsupial carnivores – the Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quoll and eastern quoll – in Tasmania also provides an opportunity to examine the influence of these species, which have co-evolved with the platypus, on patterns of predation, behaviour and habitat usage of Tasmanian platypuses. Tasmania provides the only opportunity for such a study.

The critical nature and potentially devastating consequences of the introduction and spread of the fungal disease, Mucor amphibiorum, on platypus populations in Tasmania requires immediate attention (see Stewart, this workshop). The disease appears to be of recent origin on the state and its rapid spread may coincide with a deficit in the immune system of Tasmanian platypuses which renders them more vulnerable to the disease. This theory has been suggested from recent studies which have shown a sub-specific level of genetic difference between Tasmanian and mainland platypuses (S.Akiyama, this workshop). Future studies may be able to show direct links between genetic differences in Tasmanian platypuses and an increased susceptibility to this and perhaps other diseases.”


~ by forthferalz on November 8, 2006.

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