Save the Northern
Hairy-Nosed Wombat

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, photo taken in late 2005
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, photo taken in late 2005



Dr Alan Horsup and some of his colleagues
Dr Alan Horsup (front left) with some of his colleagues



Alan and a Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Alan and a Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat




Alan Horsup and Tim Portas (veterinarian at Western Plains Zoo) checking out a trapped and anaesthetised Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Alan Horsup and Tim Portas (veterinarian at Western
Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW) checking out a trapped
and anaesthetised Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat




.. here to download recovery plan

PDF file - 197kb

Linda in the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat t-shirt and cap
Linda in the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
t-shirt and cap



The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is critically endangered. In fact, there 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 burrows.

During 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.

Evidence 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.

Dr 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:

the erection of a dingo and dog proof fence at Epping Forest (costing around $400,000).

The installation of a 9 kilometre water pipeline with 15 automatic water points at Epping Forest.
the erection of a predator proof fence at the Richard Underwood Nature Reserve.
Man made wombat burrows at Richard Underwood Nature Reserve to provide shelter for the translocated wombats as they establish their own.

Alan, 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.

However, continued improvement and survival of this species also relies on the generosity and support of the public.

How can you help? Visit The Wombat Foundation's website and dig deep into your pockets. Volunteers are also needed for the project. Email Alan Horsup for more information.

A recovery plan has been implemented to save the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat with 5, 10 and 50 year objectives.

The 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 years.

For more information click here to download the Recovery Plan for the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (PDF file, 197kb).

Please help Alan and his team to save this species - there are only 90 individuals alive - your help is needed so that this very special species is not lost forever.

Many thanks to Alan Horsup for supplying photographs
and information for this page.

Visit the
Wombat Foundation


Visit the
Wombat Protection Society of Australia


Read the story
Saving the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
The 2007 Hair Census