Have you seen an echidna lately? Wildlife Queensland’s EchidnaWatch program is gathering information on the distribution and abundance of echidnas in your area – and we’d like your help.
The only species of echidna in Queensland, and Australia – the short-beaked echidna – is one of our most loved and unique animals. With a distribution that extends from Tasmania to the Top End, this ambling adventurer can be found anywhere from the outback to the backyard.
We know that echidnas don’t cope well with traffic and sadly become roadkill. But we need to know the real extent of the damage that cars cause to echidna numbers.
EchidnaWatch aims to collate information on the distribution of echidnas in Queensland. We can share this information with Wildnet, the wildlife data repository for the EPA, and other organisations, to help plan for better outcomes for echidnas. We also need information on how the echidna is coping with modern hazards and introduced pests.
Echidnas are considered common, but hard facts about their distribution are scarce. EchidnaWatch is recruiting wildlife watchers. Wherever you live in Queensland, you can watch out for echidnas near you and tell us what you’ve observed. Together, let’s build an accurate up-to-date picture of echidnas in Queensland.
How to get involved
- Report a sighting: Have you seen an echidna in the wild? If so, you can make a valuable contribution to EchidnaWatch by telling us about your recent sightings. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your sighting, the postcode of your sighting and include your contact details.
- Share your pictures and stories: Do you have a story about seeing an echidna and a picture or two to share? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and tag your echidna picture/s with #wildlifequeensland or @wildlifequeensland so we can share your pics.
Effective EchidnaWatching tips
Be sure to provide as much information as possible on your sighting because it helps us build up a picture of what is happening with echidna populations.
- Postcode. Remember to tell us the postcode of your sighting, it will help us map populations.
- Habitat. Tell us the habitat where you saw your echidna. With this kind of information, we can start to assess whether echidnas are being found in a wider range of habitat than might be expected, or whether perhaps they are travelling through less suitable areas because the appropriate habitat is being fragmented.
1 July 2020: Potential echidna roadkill hotspots in SEQ identified
Wildlife Queensland partner, ecological research consultancy BioGeo, has mapped public echidna sightings reported to Wildlife Queensland’s EchidnaWatch between 2013-2018 and supplemented with data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
The mapped data identifies particular roads and sections of roads in Queensland where echidnas are observed or killed on multiple occasions.
“This new map helps to show the real extent of the damage that cars cause or may cause to echidna populations and will help produce better outcomes for the species,” says Wildlife Queensland Projects Manager Matt Cecil.
“Wildlife Queensland intends to share this information with relevant stakeholders to make them aware of the number of echidnas found on road verges and determine if they can install some signage at the very least.”
BioGeo is an Australian ecological research and services consultancy and a social enterprise for biodiversity conservation which specialises in the application of GIS, remote sensing, and spatial and statistical analysis, primarily for biodiversity conservation and the assessment of environmental impact and risk. 15 per cent of BioGeo’s fees go directly to support wildlife conservation charities and projects across Queensland, Australia, and the world.
Publications and information
- Wildlife Australia Winter 2000 ‘Echidna–spiny individual’ by Peggy Rismiller, 16-19 pp
- EchidnaWatch Update – Snapshot 1
For more information on WPSQ’s projects, email or phone +61 (7) 3844 0129.