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stressful for them. They can also become net shy, so it's hard to get a long term observation."

A METHOD OF remote monitoring that uses microchips similar to those that tag domestic cats and dogs is now tracking the elusive platypus.

Dr James Macgregor, of Perth's Murdoch University, and his team implanted tiny microchips between the shoulderblades of 154 platypuses. The animals are found in the Inglis River catchment area, in north western Tasmania.

the Puma Suede Classic Eco Dark Shadow animals, which is very labour intensive and Puma X Fenty Instagram

Puma Suede Classic Eco Dark Shadow

Two types of receiver were positioned in creeks to detect the platypuses when they swam over them. One was a camouflaged square panel for the creek bed; the other a short, 60cm wide tunnel the platypuses swim through.

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Puma Suede Classic Eco Dark Shadow

James says the system will be useful in tracking a fungal disease, called mucormycosis, which has infected some Tasmanian platypuses. It kills frogs on the mainland, but has not been recorded in platypus populations there.

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Puma Suede Classic Eco Dark Shadow

condition and reproductive status.

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"Everyone puts microchips in to identify animals, but the new part of this project was putting the monitors in the creek so we can track them in a hands off way," James says. "Previously we had to recapture Puma Velvet Creepers Gray

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Puma Suede Classic Eco Dark Shadow

Initial findings show a generally healthy population, James says. Some platypuses that had been microchipped for a smaller project in 2007 08 were also identified, demonstrating the potential for long term monitoring.

The pathogen causes skin lesions and kills by reducing control over body temperature, inhibiting swimming and foraging, and by reducing immunity to other infections. How it is transmitted is currently poorly understood.

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´╗┐microchipping platypusses

The new technique his team has developed is less invasive and the platypus isn't lumbered with a bulky device that can fall off.

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As part of the monitoring program, which began in 2011 and is supported by the Australian Geographic Society, the platypuses were weighed and given a health check, including an ultrasound to assess their body Puma Rose Gold Platform Sneaker

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