The curious reason you're likely to spot an echidna
HAVE you spotted an echidna lately?
Readers Chan and Ben Anderson did and shared this cute image with us.
According to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection the short beaked echidna is a native mammal of Bundaberg, inhabiting places where there are sufficient supplies of ants or termites.
But there's another reason you may be seeing them around at the moment.
Although echidnas are seldom seen, they can become quite active during mid to late winter, aka, mating season.
"During mating season, the female will be at the front of a 'train' and she may be followed by up to 10 male echidnas," a department spokesperson said.
"The male echidna who endures the courtship period and remains closest to the female, is most likely be the one to breed with her when the female is receptive."
EHP said echidnas are not territorial and wander around in a continuous search for ants or termites to eat, which means they can turn up in your backyard at any time.
"It is best just to enjoy looking at the animal and leaving it alone to go about its business. Contact your local wildlife care organisation or the RSPCA Queensland if you see an injured or sick echidna," the spokesperson said.
In Queensland, echidnas are classified as a 'specialised species' under the Nature Conservation Act 1999 and as such, you need to hold a special rehabilitation permit issued by EHP to care for sick, injured or orphaned echidnas.