NT Conservation Status
Head and body 30-45cm
Weight 2-7 kgFactsheet Short-beaked Echidna
A short stocky body covered in sharp spines, a distinctive snout and a specialised tongue. Its belly and legs are covered in course fur which lacks spines.
Echidnas are mostly active at dawn and dusk and nocturnal in the Top End. A shy and mostly solitary creature with overlapping home ranges. They shelter in old burrows, caves, rock falls and hollow logs.
One of only 3 species of egg laying mammals known as monotremes. Mating occurs July-August where females develop a temporary pouch. A single egg is then laid directly into the pouch which hatches 10 days later.
Found throughout Australia with no particular habitat requirement other than ants and termites.
Habitat loss, vehicle, fire, feral dogs, feral cats