Shelter selection and home range of echidnas, tachyglossus aculeatus, in the highlands of South-East Queensland

Wilkinson, Darren A., Grigg, Gordon C. and Beard, Lyn A. (1998) Shelter selection and home range of echidnas, tachyglossus aculeatus, in the highlands of South-East Queensland. Wildlife Research, 25 3: 219-232. doi:10.1071/WR97072

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Author Wilkinson, Darren A.
Grigg, Gordon C.
Beard, Lyn A.
Title Shelter selection and home range of echidnas, tachyglossus aculeatus, in the highlands of South-East Queensland
Journal name Wildlife Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-3712
1448-5494
Publication date 1998-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WR97072
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 219
End page 232
Total pages 14
Place of publication East Melbourne, Vic. Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Language eng
Subject 270703 Terrestrial Ecology
270500 Zoology
Abstract We recorded physical attributes of sites used for daily shelter or as hibernacula by nine echidnas, Tachyglossus aculeatus, living on a sheep grazing property in southeastern Queensland. Home ranges were also determined. For daily shelter sites, echidnas most often used hollow logs and depressions under the roots of fallen trees. Daily shelters were found more often on north-facing slopes and usually provided >90% cover. Hibernation sites always provided 100% cover but, in contrast to daily sites, were distributed randomly in relation to the slope of the terrain. Rabbit burrows, which offer much better thermal buffering than hollow logs, were used most commonly as hibernacula. There were differences between individuals in the type of shelter they used and, moreover, echidnas did not use shelter sites in proportion to what was available, indicating that choice was being exercised. Re-use of sites occurred non-randomly, implying that echidnas can recognise previously used shelters and probably have a learned familiarity with their living area. Home ranges varied between 20.6 ha and 93.3 ha (mean = 49.8, s.d. = 25.4), overlapped with those of other echidnas and correlated positively with body weight.
Keyword Echidna
Home range
Shelter site
Hibernation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Reproduced from Darren A. Wilkinson, Gordon C. Grigg and Lyn A. Beard (1998) "Shelter selection and home range of echidnas, Tachyglossus aculeatus, in the highlands of south-east Queensland". Wildl Res 25:219-232 with permission from CSIRO Publishing. http://www.publish.csiro.au/?nid=144 Copyright 1998 CSIRO Publishing. Also from the same publishers: Australian Journal of Zoology (http://www.publish.csiro.au/journals/ajz) and Emu (http://www.publish.csiro.au/journals/emu)

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 18 Feb 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Gordon Grigg on behalf of School of Biological Sciences