Echidnas are nature's ecosystem engineers
Echidna numbers are on the increase at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park!
Monitoring cameras used by park rangers as part of the Bounceback program are capturing a greater number of echidnas. A marked increase in echidna diggings has also been noticed in areas around the Park.
Echidnas use their powerful front paws to dig up the soil in their hunt for ants to abate their voracious appetite. It has only recently been realised how important echidnas are as eco-system engineers as their diggings for ants also act as a trap for seed and water, naturally helping native plants to become re-established.
While official echidna numbers are not known in the park, it is thought that the Bounceback program’s fox and cat control is helping increase the echidna population by reducing predation on young echidnas.
If you are out and about and spot their diggings in the soil, you will know there are echnidnas about. And if you happen to see an echidna, you can report it on Echida CSI – a citizen science program looking at echidna numbers and dispersal. More information, including the links to download the app, is on their website.