Hairy Nosed Wombats

Hairy Nosed Wombats

As we all know by now, there are 3 species of Wombats. Among these 3 species, 2 of them are hairy-nosed varieties. They are Northern Hairy-nosed wombat also known as Yaminon and the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat. They are called Hairy-nosed because they have hairy-noses.

The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is found across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The Yaminon is one of the rarest large mammal in the world and is now classified to be critically endangered. The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is slightly larger than the Common Wombat. The reason why it’s critically endangered now is because it’s habitat has become infested with African Buffel grass which out-competes the native grasses that this hairy-nosed wombat prefers eating. Their noses are very important for their daily survival because they have very poor eyesight, they can only smell their food in the dark.

The name Northern Hairy-nosed wombat comes from it’s distinctive muzzle which is covered with short brown hairs. As a result this specie, have a hairy-nose.

Hairy Nosed Wombat

The second hairy-nosed wombat is the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat. This specie is the smallest among the other wombat species at around 775-935 mm and weighs 20-32 kg, because of these physical traits the young often do not survive the dry season. It is well-adapted to it’s harsh environment where it must survive without water in high temperatures. This specie lives in extensive warrens where the atmosphere is cool and humid during daytime. It’s body temperature falls to conserve both energy and water.

The Southern Hairy-nosed wombat is often likened to a large badger, it is also considered to resemble a bear and a pig. The fur of this wombat covers it’s entire body, including the nose, hence it’s name.

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

Australian Southern Hairy Nosed Wombats

The Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is one of the 3 species of wombats. It’s scientific name is Lasiorhinus latifrons. They are mainly found in scattered areas of semi-arid scrub and mallee from the Eastern Nullarbor Plain to the New South Wales border area.

Among the other wombats, the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is the smallest, at only around 775 to 935 millimeter and 20 to 32 kilograms and the young oftentimes don’t survive the dry seasons. They are classified as vulnerable by animal authorities. Though a healthy population still remains, it appears to declining as the days go by. It is feared that the consistently sparse rainfall of recent years has prevented successful breeding. Most likely this sparse rainfall is caused by the climate change. It takes 3 consecutive good seasons for a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat to reach near adulthood which will make them sexually mature, ready for mating.

There are wombat specialists who are specially concerned that with the continious or continuation of this current trend to drier climate in Southern Australia could be a serious threat.

Their tails are 2.5-6 centimeter long.

The oldest Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats to ever walk the Earth were a male and female from Brooksfield Zoo outside Chicago, USA. They were Carver (male) who lived till 34 years old and Vicky (female) who lived till 24 years old.

It’s range is much wider before European settlement . It is well adapted to it’s harsh environment where it must survive without water in high temperatures . They mainly live in extensive warrens where the environment is cool and humid during the hot daytime. The wombat’s body temperature drops to conserve both water and energy. Their resting metabolic rate is much slower than the other wombat species. Their food is thorougly grinded-up and passes very slowly to their digestive tract, this process takes 8 days for maximum nutrient extraction.

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat Picture

Their burrow system is more social compared to other wombat species. Their burrow system is composed of 5 to 10 wombats consisting of both sexes, living together. Their warren system is composed of a central set of burrows which is often occupied by males and smaller warren within 150 meter radius where females reside for varying time-period. The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats’ breeding is more seasonal comapred to other wombat species. And male aggressive behavior is restricted to that season only. Their youngs are usually born between September to December and they spend the next 6 to 9 months in the mother wombat’s pouch. For this particular specie, sexual maturity occurs at about 3 years of age. It requires a minimum of 3 good seasons to increase their population.

Like other wombat specie, they have similarities with their physical appearance. It is a squat-quadruped with short, thick limbs that are equipped with short fattened claws, it’s tail is shorter than the other species. They also have a large, broad head, that has small eyes and pointed ears. The two incisors on the upper and lower jaws fit together fro gnawing are chiseled and they have enamel on the front surfaces with no canines present. These wombats also have a large diastema separating the incisors and cheek teeth. There are also cheek pouches present. They are also often likened to a large Badger, they are also considered to resemble a bear and a pig.

The fur of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat covers it’s entire body including their noses, hence it’s name.

Though they appear slow going/movers, these marsupials have been known to play with limitless energy. Their strenght and reports of their ability to run at the speed of approximately 40 kmh have earned them the nickname “Bulldozers of the Bush” as they have the ability to trample down any obstacle in their path. This specie is also mainly nocturnal, feeding on grasses, roots, sedges, bark and fungi which are highly fibrous and low in water and protein.

The female specie of this kind has 2 nipples. Though 2 offsprings are sometimes born, there is usually only 1 birth. It remains in the mother’s pouch for 6 to 9 months. After exiting the pouch, the offspring follows it’s mother for nearky another year and tends to play biting games.

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Like most wild wombats they can be expected to live up to 5 years or more while those in captivity have lived up to 20 years. It is likely that only a Dingo could take an adult wombat and the only other animal that can possibly be able to harm a small wombat is a Wedge-Tail Eagle. They also tend to be frequent victims of car accidents due to their nocturnal habits and slowness.

Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat Baby

A Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is also known as or called a Yaminon. It is one of the three living species of Wombats. It was found and discovered across the areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland as recently as 100 years ago. But now, it’s restricted to a 3 kilometer square range within the 30 kilometer square Epping Forest National Park in Queensland.

The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, is one of the rarest mammals in the world and is now considered to be critically endangered. It is slightly larger than the Common Wombat and able to breed faster in a way than the Common Wombat. They’re able to produce 2 youngs every 3 years.

Their habitat has become infested with African Buffel Grass which out-competes the native grasses the Yaminon prefers to eat. To protect the Yaminons (Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats), a 2 meter high predator & intruder proof fence was constructed around 25 kilometer square feet of the park in 2000, though captive breeding and translocation programs have been abandoned for the time being because the population in the remaining Yaminon colony is considered to be too small to allow safe removal of the 15 to 20 individual wombats needed to start a new wild colony and because more than a decade of captive breeding research with Common and Southern Hairy-Nosed wombats has produced only a handful of successful births.

Australian Northern Hairy Nose Wombat

A Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat is 35 cm in height and up to 1 meter long. They can weigh up to 40 kilograms. The female wombat specie of this kind are a little bit bigger than the males because they have an extra layer of fat. This specie of wombats are mainly found in Central Queensland. It’s diet is composed of course grass and various types of roots.

They are nearly extinct because there are only 40-60 left in all Australia. Their noses are very important for their daily survival because they have very poor eyesight. They mainly rely on their sense of smell.

It takes about a whole day for a Yaminon to dig a burrow with their very sharp claws. They mainly live in dry, grassy regions of Australia. This kind of wombat uses it’s burrow to control it’s body temperature and as well as their surroundings. By staying in it’s burrow during the day, the wombat keeps cool and conserves or saves water in the summer time and it stays warm during the winter time.

The name Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat comes from it’s distinctive muzzle which is covered with short brown hairs. It’s physique is string and heavily built with short, stubby but powerful legs and strong claws. It’s fur is very soft, silky and mainly brown-mottled gray or fawn and black in color. It has a broad head with black patches around their eyes. Their ears are long and slightly pointed with tufts of white hair on the edges.

Queensland Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats

Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats sleep in their burrows the whole day. They are shy animal, that’s why most of the time they are solitary and only go out during night time, but there are times and instances when they share burrows with other wombats.

This specie of wombats give birth to a young during the wet season which is around November to April. They’re found in one place in the world, in the semi-arid woodland and grassland on sandy soil in Epping Forest National Park in Central Queensland. Because they are already critically endangered, a major recovery program is underway to help save this wombat specie. It is funded by the Queensland Government. It involves major research, management and maintenance programs and includes intensive studies of the wombat’s genetic make-up, reproduction, behavior & habits and it’s diet. The management aims to improve the quality and diversity of grasses available to wombats.