Hairy-Nosed Wombat, photo taken in late 2005
Alan Horsup (front left) with some of his colleagues
and a Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Horsup and Tim Portas (veterinarian at Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW) checking
out a trapped and anaesthetised Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
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Linda in the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat t-shirt and
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is critically endangered. In fact,
are just over individuals left in the wild, this number was determined
from the 2007 Hair Census.
Up until quite recently, all of these animals reside in one location,
a tiny scientific national park called Epping Forest National
Park, in central Queensland. Of the 3160 hectares in the forest,
only 500 are suitable for the wombats to live in, as most of the
parks soils are heavy clays which are not suitable for creating
2009 and 2010 selected individuals were translocated from Epping
Forest to the Richard Underwood Nature Reserve near St George
in southern Queensland. A total of 15 wombats were moved, unfortunately
there were some losses and now 12 wombats thankfully appear to
be doing quite well at the reserve. In recent months video footage
has shown that there are two pouch young in the colony.
indicates that the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat was uncommon before its rapid decline
over the last 200 years. Competition for food
from introduced grazing animals and predation from dingoes seem to be the main
causes for their decline.
Alan Horsup and Dave Harper of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service,
lead teams that are implementing the recovery plan for the Northern
Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Projects accomplished by the team are:
erection of a dingo and dog proof fence at Epping Forest
(costing around $400,000).
installation of a 9 kilometre water pipeline with 15 automatic
water points at Epping Forest.
erection of a predator proof fence at the Richard Underwood
made wombat burrows at Richard Underwood Nature Reserve to
provide shelter for the translocated wombats as they establish
Dave and their teams are working hard to save the Northern Hairy-Nosed
Wombat. Their dedication and commitment to this project is paying
off, for in the early 1980's there were only about 30 individuals.
continued improvement and survival of this species also relies
on the generosity and support of the public.
recovery plan has been implemented to save the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat with
5, 10 and 50 year objectives.
overall goal of the plan, which was published in 2004, is to achieve a total population
of a minimum of 150 Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats in two wild populations and at
least one captive population by 2007. The hope for 150 individuals in the wild
may not be achieved by 2007, however the captive population program is well underway.
In 10 years the team aim to have the population increased to 200 individuals.
The 50 year objective is to establish viable metapopulations of the wombat throughout
their historic range, such that the risk of extinction is less than 1% over 100