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Echidna map

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The gullies either side of the Goodenia Track form the headwaters of Ekibin Creek, part of Norman Creek catchment. These gullies are also home to Short Beaked Echidnas Tachyglossus aculeatus. 

Echidnas are also sometimes reported crossing local roads although they do struggle to climb the gutters.

Video: The Nature Box (YouTube Channel).

Echidna - Demmers - 24 June 2013 close

Short Beaked Echidna

Echidnas are well named.

Short Beaked is obvious. Tachyglossus means ‘quick tongue’, referring to the speed with which they use their 17cm tongue to catch ants and termites. Aculeatus means ‘spiny’.

Echidnas are powerful digging machines. The front feet have five strong, shovel like claws for digging, tearing apart termite nests or digging under logs. The rear feet have long curved claws used for grooming between their spines.

Echidna - front

Foraging in leaf litter

Echidnas, with their short legs and slow rolling walk, have a surprising home range of 45-50 hectares.

Echidna trains and Puggles?

Echidna breeding season begins in Spring and lasts 2 to 3 months. If you are lucky you may witness an Echidna train:  lovelorn males will queue up behind a female forming long trains of up to ten males hoping to mate.

Echidnas are monotremes: egg-laying mammals. The Platypus and Echidna are the only two kinds of monotremes are left on the planet. The female lays a single egg that is incubated in her pouch for about 10 days. Baby Echidnas have the cute name of “puggles” and once hatched the puggle stays in the pouch for about 55 days sucking directly from the milk patch in the pouch.

Puggles begin to outgrow the pouch and grow spines when they’re about seven weeks old. The young Echidna is then put in a nursery burrow where it spends about five months.

Echidna tracks - Triggs - Tracks, Scats & other traces

Tracks, Scats and Other Traces – Barbara Triggs

Echidna Tracks and Scats

The best time to spot Echidnas is when you are walking around dawn or dusk. Watch for these cute “spiky” creatures foraging among the leaf litter or burrowing for termites under logs.

The ground in the Reserve is generally hard so Echidna tracks may only show up in soft ground near water.

Echidna scats may be easier to find: partially broken, smooth, cylindrical droppings containing insect cases mixed with soil or sand.

Look for termite mounds broken apart or half-moon-shaped hollows at the base of plants where Echidnas have been searching for grubs

Go to: Koalas, Echidnas, Gliders & Possums of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve

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