AWAY from the glare of international media following her discovery of a rare white platypus, UNE scientist Lou Streeting is facing a last-ditch attempt to save endangered turtles in New England waterways.
The PhD candidate had been studying Bell's turtles in and around Beardy Waters Dam and the Severn River.
"Bell's turtles are very special because they are only found on the New England Tablelands," Ms Streeting said.
"The turtles are endangered because foxes are raiding more than 97 per cent of their nests every breeding season and there is not enough juveniles making it into the water.
"So as part of my PhD I am researching conservation actions to increase the number of juveniles in the wild population."
And it was while trying to save the endangered turtle Ms Streeting made another discovery in a New England waterway.
Swimming nearby was a rare, white platypus with dark feet, bill and some pigmentation in the tail.
"We often see platypus during our surveys, but we were amazed when we first caught a glimpse of the white platypus dabbling on the surface of the stream," Ms Streeting said.
"Our search of scientific literature, newspapers, and databases yielded 12 individual records of albino or atypically white platypus dating back to the first record in 1835 and our observation likely represents the only known record of a leucistic platypus."
The platypus was observed on several occasions over a 28-month period and the observations, along with photos and videos of the white platypus, were published in the scientific journal, Australian Mammalog.
"It was picked up by news outlets across the world, I was amazed there was so much interest," Ms Streeting said.
"Platypus are one of the world's most extraordinary animals.
"Many people may never encounter this unique mammal in the wild and we were fortunate to observe, and capture footage of, this rare white platypus."
Back to the endangered turtles, Ms Streeting is having good success with incubating turtle eggs in captivity and then releasing the hatchlings when they are old enough.
She is about to release another batch of hatchlings and asks the public to take care, especially is they see a turtled trying to cross the road.
Bell's turtles are an endangered species. They can live until they're 80 years old and remain fertile up to that time.