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 has been 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 in our reserves are no exception to this. The photo below is of a wombat suffering from these problems on Moorunde taken on 12 May 2012. We are alarmed and are taking a number of steps along with other partners to try to help wombats get through this.
It is likely that there are several complicating factors underlying the wombat sickness, but starvation from lack of suitable grazing is certainly a major factor. Although we have had some good years of rain since the end of the drought (2012), the spear grass and wallaby grasses have not come back as they always have before. We are undertaking a Habitat Rehabilitation Project with funds from the NRM Community Grants scheme. (This was done in 2012-13.)
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.