Cotton RiverCare blog - the case of the curious echidna

Cotton RiverCare is a program that promotes and supports responsible management of riverine areas within cotton growing regions of Australia.

The program follows the journey of cotton grower and national Cotton RiverCare champion, Mark Palfreyman. Mark and his wife Anne and their four children Edward, Finn, Wilson & Elsie blog about discovering what biodiversity lives on their farm, how their management decisions impact on the condition of their riverine areas and the benefits healthy riverine areas can provide their farming business.

We recently spotted this bloke down on Coomonga Creek near our vegetation monitoring site. A little surprised by how inquisitive he was!

Echidnas are generally shy and difficult to observe as they quickly bury themselves when disturbed so was not expecting this one to come up and smell my mates shoes!

Echidnas live around 40 years, are active both day and night and are usually found in places with a good supply of ants and terminates such as riparian corridors where there is a lot of decaying wood. They are amazingly strong, easily lifting twice their body weight. They are also able to swim.

As most people would know they like the platypus are a monotreme ie. they lays eggs and suckle their young. An echidna will lay one egg in her pouch which hatches about 10 days later. Baby echidnas, called puggles, start their life without hair or quills, when they become too prickly to carry, the mother digs a burrow for it returning regularly to feed it and are weed at about seven months of age. 

Watch the video here! 

- Mark.