Amidst the wealth of wombat information available, our aim is not to duplicate existing resources. Instead, we want to highlight the key facts about bare-nosed wombats, offer intriguing insights, and encourage further exploration on your own. Here’s what you need to understand about wombats.

Australia is home to three wombat species: the Bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus), formerly known as the common wombat, the Northern Hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii), and the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Notably, wild wombats are exclusive to a small strip of land along the eastern and southern coastal regions of Australia.

Historically, wombats faced severe threats, with some species pushed to the brink of extinction. Stories from farmers’ descendants speak of the mass killings of up to 1000 wombats on a single farm. Conservation efforts were belatedly initiated, rescuing the Northern Hairy-nosed wombat from near-extinction in the 80s; now around 300 of them exist in predator-proof sanctuaries.

The Southern Hairy-nosed wombat, however, remains under immense pressure from rural landholders, leading to fragmented populations and a dire risk of extinction. Similarly, the Bare-nosed wombats face challenges, including past hunting and present culling permits, despite being protected species in all regions.
Our conservation efforts are geared toward safeguarding the Bare-nosed wombat, preventing their decline into the endangered status.

Current Conservation Status of the three wombat species according to the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species:

Challenges faced by wombats in the wild

Wild wombats in Australia confront formidable challenges, including those arising from natural disasters such as droughts, bushfires, and floods. Additionally, human activities contribute to their plight as roads and fences obstruct their paths, often resulting in tragic consequences.

Despite legal protection across all States and Territories for all three wombat species, culling licenses are still issued to landholders in NSW, VIC, SA, and TAS, with the exception of the ACT. This human-induced threat compounds the challenges faced by wombats in the wild.

Among these challenges, sarcoptic mange emerges as particularly insidious, posing both conservation and animal welfare concerns. Wombats afflicted by mange suffer tremendously, with over 70% of wild wombat populations estimated to be affected, and this number is rapidly increasing.

Addressing these issues is complicated by the fact that a significant number of wombats inhabit public land or National Parks, which requires permission for access. Unfortunately, if landholders deny access or refuse assistance, the ability to intervene and aid these creatures becomes severely limited.

Despite the numerous challenges wombats face, the impact of urban development on them has been overlooked for too long.

As nocturnal, underground dwellers, wombats may be sleeping out of sight during land clearing with bulldozers.

Environmental Impact Assessments tend to focus on threatened species, but since the bare nosed wombat is not on this list, they are often ignored during assessments and clearing activities.

Even if some survive, their homes are destroyed, leading to territorial wombats venturing into suburbs with dangerous consequences, including dog attacks and road accidents.

Additionally, territorial disputes arise when wombats invade neighbouring populations, further exacerbating the challenges they face.

Given that wombats only have a joey once every two years at best, and facing all these challenges, it is no wonder that we are seeing population decline happening.