Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Trip

Central Western Daily Articles

CLICK HERE FOR WILDLIFE RESOURCES


Doing Whatever She Can:
Orange wildlife educator Linda Dennis is traveling to Queensland to help save
the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
Photo: Jude Keogh

second article

Article Text:

By Ben Brennan

Many people consider wombats to be little more than a road hazard but not many people realise that some species of wombat are on the edge of extinction.

Orange wildlife educator Linda Dennis is leaving on a 11 day, 3200km round trip to do what she can to help save the world's last Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats.

Only 115 still exist in the wild and there are none in captivity. It is the most endangered animal in Australia.

"They're one of the most vulnerable species in Australia," she said.

"If anything bad happened to them or their environment, they'd be gone."

Linda is traveling to Epping Forest Scientific National Park in Queensland today, the only known home of the wombat.

She says her destination is "in the middle of nowhere," and upon arrival she will work with Australian Geographic and Dr Alan Horsup of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Australian Geographic have provided some money for her travel however she is donating the majority to help purchase a weigh station that can help monitor wombat health without distressing the animals through excess human contact.

While she is there she will help in collecting hair samples for DNA analysis which will give scientists a clear picture of the population - and will importantly let them know if any new wombats have been born.

Last week Linda was given an Action Award by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for her efforts to educate people about wildlife.

She has decided to donate a portion of her prize money and has encouraged every one to donate towards the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service's effort to save the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

** Linda is donating the full IFAW award to the EPA Wombat Survival Fund. You too can donate to the fund. Cheques can be made payable to the "EPA Wombat Survival Fund" and mailed to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr Alan Horsup, PO Box 3130 Redhill Qld 4701



First Cousin: Orange wildlife carer and educator Linda Dennis
only had an opportunity to meet the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat's first cousin,
the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, close up.
Photo: Fourth Crossing Wildlife

Article Text:

By Ben Brennan

"Steve Irwin had it wrong. Crocs don't rule, Wombats rule", Orange wildlife crusader Linda Dennis said after returning from working with the endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats in Queensland.

Ms Dennis traveled to Epping Forest Scientific National Park earlier this month to work with Dr Alan Horsup of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to help conduct a census of Australia's most vulnerable endangered species. It is estimated that just over 100 are still alive.

Ms Dennis spent two weeks with Dr Horsup and other volunteers sponsored by Australian Geographic collecting wombat hair samples to gain information on the wombat's numbers and movements.

"It's too soon to tell what kind of number we're looking at... it would seem the activity is up compared to how many hair samples were collected at the last census," Ms Dennis said.

"This is a great sign... the hair samples are now in the safe custody of Monash University for processing but it will be several months before we get the final figure."

The park is the only habitat for the Northern Hairy-Nosed wombats and Ms Dennis is now one of only 500 people in the entire world to have seen one in the wild.

Ms Dennis said the trip was hot and dirty but worth the effort.

"It was bloody hard work but it was two of the best weeks of my life... I'm in debt two weeks holidays from next year now but I have to thank my boss for letting me leave on short notice," Linda said.

She said she was now counting down the days until the next time she got to visit the wombats.

"It becomes a bit of a dependency. I can't wait to go back to see the wombat," she said.

Ms Dennis has urged anyone who wants to help save the endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat to send donations to the EPA Wombat Survival Fund care of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in Rockhampton.

** Donations can be made payable to the "EPA Wombat Survival Fund" and mailed to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr Alan Horsup, PO Box 3130 Redhill Qld 4701


Back to Photos Miscellaneous