PLATYPUS populations and water flows in the Peel River will be the focus of a research team making the trip inland from Sydney on Friday.
The group from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been looking into the plight of the platypus, and the Peel in Tamworth will be their next stop.
The researchers will meet with community groups like Landcare and OzFish Northwest, as well as local conservationist Phil Spark today.
Mr Spark said the Peel River, especially upstream of Tamworth, is home to the shy creatures.
But, he is concerned the modification and regulation of water flows from the dam combined with the big dry have been a "double whammy" for platypus populations.
"[The UNSW group] are concerned about increased regulation of the Peel River and Dungowan Creek and what impact that will have on platypus," he said.
"They're coming to see it for themselves and talk to locals to then comprehend what changes there have been and get a handle on platypus in the area ... and look to the future."
The trip is part of a wider project documenting platypus in other parts of the state.
Tamworth Regional Landcare Association chairman Paul Moxon said it's a positive sign people are paying attention to the plight of the creatures.
"They are an iconic animal all around the world ... and they're a really important part of the ecosystem," he said.
Mr Moxon said residents had reported platypus spottings and deaths in the area during the drought.
He said the river-dwellers seemed to be on the "backburner" compared to some other creatures which are also struggling, like koalas and native fish.
"Scientists are trying to get more baseline data ... getting the information will make it easier to target government funding in the future."
The group will meet at the Peel River for the first time on Friday.