When you clear up around your property for fire prevention, do you ever think about echidnas? Heaps of bark and leaves raked up from around the house make an ideal place for short-beaked echidnas to hide their young.
If you want to make some echidna habitat then make sure the heaps are well away from your house. Echidnas also hide their young in heaps of branches that you may have put aside for a fire heap. They also take advantage of a pile of mulch.
Female echidnas produce a single leathery egg into a pouch when after about 15 days the egg hatches. The young suckle on milk. After an on average of 50 days, the young begin to grow spines. As this makes them too uncomfortable to carry and the young known as puggles, are put into a shallow burrow, in a nest lined with grass.
The heaps of branches and leaves we stack around the place then become an attractive place to shelter the young. The heaps are also a source of ants, small insects, worms, beetle larvae and other invertebrate, that form part of an echidna’s diet. The adults and young may share the shelters for several months.