We want to learn more about echidnas! Where they are, what they are doing and if they are healthy - so we can work towards their conservation. How can you help? By taking photos and collecting scats (i.e. poo).
Although an iconic native Australian animal, we do not know much about echidnas’ wild populations. The only well studied echidnas are on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, where this population is now listed as Endangered. As echidnas across Australia face the same threats as those on Kangaroo Island (cats, roadkill and habitat loss), it is likely many echidna populations are under threat. Through EchidnaCSI we are documenting the current population distribution through our phone app, where the public take photos of echidnas when they see them and the app submits the GPS location, date and time along with the photo.
Many aspects of echidna biology remains a mystery, even what they eat. We also ask the public to collect echidna scats where we investigate the molecules such as DNA and hormones within the scats to learn more about echidna biology. From DNA within the scats we can look at echidna diet, their genetic diversity and microbiome. From hormones we can identify highly stressed populations and investigate their reproduction.
For you to get involved with our project, download our app called EchidnaCSI.
Also find out more about EchidnaCSI by following our Facebook page (facebook.com/EchidnaCSI) and visiting our website (https://grutznerlab.weebly.com/echidna-csi.html).