A smartphone app, EchidnaCSI (Conservation Science Initiative) is being used to help researchers save the echidna by compiling data and allowing analysis of echidna scat (poo).

KI echidna: This shy and secretive creature can help unlock secrets of survival. Photo: Steve Howell.

KI echidna: This shy and secretive creature can help unlock secrets of survival. Photo: Steve Howell.

KI’s echidna population has been declared endangered, but now a smartphone app, EchidnaCSI (Conservation Science Initiative) is being used to help researchers save the echidna by compiling data and allowing the public to take photos of echidna scat (poo), which can then be analysed.

Long-time KI resident and environmental physiologist Doctor Peggy Rismiller was one of the instigators.

She said, “This app is helping close the gap between field ecology and lab sciences. It can help us learn about the echidna’s survival secrets with help from the public. Echidnas have survived climate changes and ice ages and that information can be relevant to us humans.”

Echidnas are shy and hard to find but the data, photos and videos that can be added to the app will help scientists learn more about the echidna’s health and habitat without having to try to track or capture them.

Over 300 people have registered for the app, and information will soon be distributed around KI.

The EchidnaCSI app is available through the App Store and Google Play.

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