21st June 2016
ECHIDNAS ON THE MOVE
By Judi Gray (President of Wildlife Qld Toowoomba Branch)
The short-beaked echidna is usually an elusive solitary animal, not commonly seen, despite being widespread in the greater Toowoomba region. Winter time however, is echidna breeding season, and because of this, they are currently on the move, looking for a mate, often in suburban and high-traffic areas.
Unfortunately, there has been a marked increase in echidna fatalities in the local region in the last few weeks when these slow moving monotremes have come into harms way on roads and with pet dogs. In particular, a large number of road fatalities have been recorded on the New England highway between Highfields and Crows Nest. Wildlife Qld is appealing to drivers to please be wary of echidnas when driving and urged drivers to do their best to safely avoid them on the roads.
Should you find a dead or injured echidna on the road, take care for traffic yourself, then move it to the side and check the underside skin folds for a puggle (baby echidna). Any injured animals or orphaned puggles should be taken to a registered wildlife carer immediately for treatment. Should you come across an echidna or any injured wildlife labelled with a pink tag, this indicates that the animal has already been assessed by a registered wildlife rescue volunteer. The RSPCA Wildlife hotline number is 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) and is the best point of contact for local wildlife rescue.
Thank you to the High Country Herald for publishing this awareness article in their Newspaper edition on 21st June 2016. You can view the news article in the attachment below.