Tachyglossus aculeatus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Monotremata Tachyglossidae

Scientific Name: Tachyglossus aculeatus
Species Authority: (Shaw, 1792)
Common Name(s):
English Short-beaked Echidna, Kangaroo Island Echidna
French Échidnés À Nez Court Épineux

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, lack of major threats, and because it is not thought to be in decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widespread in Australia, including Tasmania and a number of offshore islands, and also occurs in south-eastern New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and the Markham valley. The subspecies Tachyglossus aculeatus multiaculeatus is endemic to Kangaroo Island, South Australia (Maxwell et al. 1996). The species has an altitudinal range of sea level to 1,675 m asl (New Guinea) and up to the highest peak in Australia.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia); Indonesia (Papua); Papua New Guinea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It can be a locally common species.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in various open woodland types, savanna and semi-arid and arid areas, and rainforest (e.g., Queensland Wet Tropics). It is also found in agricultural areas. The female lays a single egg, which hatches after about ten days (Augee 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is used for ceremonial purposes throughout its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to the species over most of its range. It is threatened by overhunting for food in parts of New Guinea, and there may be some localized declines. Although not a threat, they are used for ceremonial purposes throughout their range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is found in two protected areas on New Guinea and presumably is present in many protected areas in Australia. There is a need to monitor numbers of animals killed along selected sections of main tourist roads. Most likely there are adequate protected areas in Australia already in place for this species, however, in Papua New Guinea (where less than 2% of the land is protected) none of the protected areas are large enough (other than Crater Mountain Wildlife Reserve) to contain a viable population of this species (L. Salas pers. comm.).

Citation: Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L. & Helgen, K. 2008. Tachyglossus aculeatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41312A10439835. . Downloaded on 29 May 2016.
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