The northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of three extant species of wombat. Growing up to a meter long and weighing up to 40 kg, the northern hairy-nosed wombat are the biggest species of wombat and the largest herbivorous burrowing mammal in the world.
Northern hairy-nosed wombats differ from common wombats with their distinctive pointed ears, broad muzzle and furry noses which (along with their strong claws) they use for borrowing. The spend 80% of their time in their burrows which take a day to dig and are shared by up to 10 wombats, equally divided by sex.
Historically, the northern hairy-nosed wombat’s range extended across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland but is now restricted to a 3-km range within the Epping Forest National Park in Queensland due to being hunted by wild dogs, disease and habitat loss. With an estimate 230 individuals alive they are by far the most endangered species of wombat and one of the world’s rarest mammals.
THE WOMBAT FOUNDATION
Formed in 2004, The Wombat Foundation is the only organisation dedicated exclusively to the conservation of the northern hairy-nosed wombat. Their efforts are geared towards funding research to better understand the wombats and their habits, community outreach to get more people involved in protecting the wombats and most important conservation.
The Wombat Foundation supports the volunteer caretaker program that has seen the population of northern hairy-nosed wombats grow from 35 to 230 in 30 years and was instrumental in setting up a new conservation site in southern Queensland.
While the foundation has had amazing success in growing the northern hairy-nosed wombat population, their Epping Forest conservation space is expected to be at capacity by 2025 and there is still a long way to go before the species is ready to be introduced into its historic range. Donations go towards continued research and conservation efforts as well as funding future conservation sites