In 1999, acclaimed travel author John Gimlette won a place on Earthwatch's Australian platypus expedition after winning a travel writing competition in Wanderlust.
John and his fellow volunteers were tasked with trapping platypuses in order for biologists to take vital measurements, assess health and attach transponders that tracked the platypuses movements. It was a nocturnal task which “required Danish eel nets, stakes, hammers, sleeping bags and gravy pies” John recounts. Despite their initial incompetence, according to John, the group's night-time missions proved incredibly successful with over ten platypuses captured and released over the course of the trip. It was an experience John will never forget.
“Earthwatch's offering is remarkable: a chance to get immersed in science and conservation, often in the most beautiful settings. Our experience in platypus research counts as one of the best trips we've ever done. Thank you, Earthwatch.”