Zoos Victoria

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Act Now for the wombat

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Emerging from burrows at dusk a family of Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats can number up to 10.

The smallest species of wombat, with silkier fur and longer ears, they live throughout the southern areas of South Australia across to areas of Western Australia.

Eating mainly grasses and plants Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats can adjust their diet and waste in time of drought when food is scarce.

Unlike Common Wombats (which are solitary) Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats like to hang out together

  • Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats can weigh up to 32kg and easily bowl over a human.
  • Wombats hangout in burrows during the day to avoid the heat of summer and cold of winter.
  • Wombat young, called joeys, remain in their mother's pouch for about 5 months before emerging.
  • Wombats have a backwards facing pouch, so that it doesn't fill with dirt when they are digging.
  • Wombats can out dig a human with a shovel.
  • Wombats are known to be good swimmers.
  • They can outrun most humans covering 100 metres in about 10 seconds.
  • Wombutts have killer bums! They have been known to use their very hard bums to ‘butt-slam' predators' heads against the sides of their burrows.

With space for burrows getting smaller and smaller Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are becoming cramped for space.

Between increased farmland, domestic stock and rabbits Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are struggling for suitable habitat.

Droughts and disease are also beginning to have there effects too.

After the recent drought came floods which inundated wombat habitats in South Australia last summer, drowning many Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats in their burrows.

At our Zoos...

  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Healesville Sanctuary

In the Wild...

  • Common Wombat - Victoria
  • Common Wombat - NSW
  • Common Wombat - Tasmania
  • Common Wombat - Southern Queensland
  • Southern Hairy Nosed - Nullarbor Plain
  • Southern Hairy Nosed - Yorke Peninsula
  • Southern Hairy Nosed - Streaky Bay
  • Northern Hairy Nosed - Epping Forest National Park