|Family||Vombatidae||wombatssturdy body, powerful limbs for burrowing|
|Genus||Lasiorhinus||Hairy-nosed wombatslarge square nose covered with fine hair|
|Species||latifrons||Southern Hairy-nosed wombat|
|Nearest Relatives||L. krefftii|
|Northern Hairy-nosed wombat|
- a few small areas in South Australia mainly on the Nullabor Plain
- used to be occur from the Murray River in South Australia across to south-east Western Australia
- a network of extensive tunnels with up to 20 entrances shared by a number (10) wombats developed over generations of wombats
- any wombat may use a number of different burrows
- one of the largest animals to construct burrows; can excavate up to 2m of tunnel a night
- suffers in competition for food and burrowing areas with rabbits and with farmers and graziers
- sturdy body, flattened head and rump, short powerful legs with broad paws
- pouch faces backwards so young don’t get a face full of dirt when mother is digging
- teeth have no roots; they keep growing and are continually worn down by eating
- very strong; if pursued into a burrow by a dog or fox, a wombat will lift its rump and crush the attacker’s skull against the roof of the burrow
- territorial but home ranges may overlap
- solitary – don’t form social groups
- share burrows, rubbing posts, feeding areas
- spend the day in the burrow except on overcast days or during cold winters – this helps to conserve water and energy
- spend two-thirds of their lives asleep in the burrow
- can run 40km/hr over short distances
- live up to 25 years
- alert to slightest sound or unusual scent
- common but restricted distribution
- often considered a pest by farmers due to their destruction of fences designed to keep out kangaroos, rabbits, and dingoes/wild dogs
- grazing animals eating grasses
- cover 1-4 km per night over a 5-20 ha plot
- births occur September to December after a gestation period of 30 days
- young leave the pouch at 10 months of age but stay with the mother for several months after leaving the pouch at least until weaned at 12 months
- sexually mature by 2-3 years
References – books
- Australia’s Amazing Wildlife, 1985. Bay Books, Kensington NSW.
- Australian Geographic Wildlife Special Edition, Australian Geographic, Terrey Hills.
- Complete Book Of Australian Mammals, R Strahan (ed), 1983. Angus & Robertson Publishers, London.
- Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, Reader’s Digest Australia Pty Ltd, 1997. Reader’s Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Surrey Hills.
- Wildlife Conservation, HJ Frith, 1979. Angus & Robertson, London.