Wombats in the Murraylands need our help!
Since early 2012, southern hairy-nosed wombats throughout the Lower Murraylands region have been observed suffering from malnutrition, resulting in very low body weight, severe skin lesions, significant fur loss and liver damage. Their plight was highlighted by numerous groups working in the area, including the Natural History Society and reported in the media, as well as our own journal (NATURAL HISTORY).
The wombats on our reserves were no exception to this. The photo below is of a wombat on Moorunde who may have been suffering from these problems or may be an animal in the last stages of their natural process of old age and dying (taken on 12 May 2012). We are working with other partners to understand what is going on and what should be done to help wombats get through this.
It is likely that there were several complicating factors underlying the wombat sickness, but starvation from lack of suitable grazing was certainly a major factor. Although we had some good years of rain after the end of the drought in 2012, the spear grass and wallaby grasses did not come back as they always had before. We undertook a Habitat Rehabilitation Project with funds from the NRM Community Grants scheme. (This was done in 2012-14.)
We need a lot of hands helping to achieve our goals and welcome people who support our goals and would like to assist in a number of ways. Please contact us for more information or support us by making a donation.
The State Government’s Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) has produced a fact-sheet on the health issues facing the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats in the Murraylands.
The Society has continued to address this problem and there have been many developments. Please click this link – Wombats in Recovery – to see the article “Wombat Population Study in Moorunde Wildlife Reserve Study Areas” by Glen Taylor and published in the September – October 2015 issue of NATURAL HISTORY.