A prickly character on farm

Dairy farms are great places to teach kids a love of – and respect for – creatures of every kind.

We are really privileged to have acres of beautiful bush on our farm and we come across all sorts of creatures – even the threatened goanna. One of the cutest but least cuddly is the echidna and the forest has thousands of these little ant-eating waddlers.

An environmentalist once told me that she builds connections with farmers via birds because they are the most visible fauna on a farm but it’s the far less glamorous and more timid creatures that make an ecosystem. This was brought home to me yesterday when one of the shire’s environmental staff visited to assess the farm’s potential for green projects. One of the criteria was whether the farm is home to threatened flora or fauna. Apart from the goannas, I really don’t know, and that’s a shame.

I hope my children will indeed learn so much more than I’ll ever know about our wonderful world.

2 Comments

Filed under Environment, Farm

2 responses to “A prickly character on farm

  1. Over here in UK they’re called hedgehogs, they only have a short nose and a small snout like a pig, and live on mainly earth worms, hense the hog in the name, all of ours are now in hibernation for the winter. they are very vunerable to road kill, as they don’t run for the side they just curl up.

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    • milkmaidmarian

      The hedgehog looks a lot like the echidna, Fred, but they’re actually quite different little creatures. Believe it or not, the echidna, which is found in Australia and Papua New Guinea, is a mammal that lays eggs. Only the platypus and echidna fall into this category, called monotremes. The porcupine, hedgehog and echidna have the perfect defence in their spines – except, as you say, when it comes to trucks.

      I don’t know why but we don’t see a lot of dead echidnas on the road. Maybe they’re more cautious than their UK counterparts!

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