Wombats are marsupials that are predominantly found in Australia. These are short, bear-like, furry and chubby creature having teeth like placental rodents which can be regrown if broken due to chewing of tough vegetation. These are crepuscular or nocturnal creatures and they are active either at twilight or at night. They mostly remain in their burrows as they cannot tolerate high temperatures and can even die due to excessive heat. There are three living species of Wombats and I shall tell you something about them.
Species of Wombats:
The living species of Wombats are as follows:
Queensland or Northern hairy-nosed Wombat
Southern hairy-nosed Wombat
What is the Common Wombat?
The Common Wombat which is also called the Coarse-haired Wombat has an average size of 98cm and a weight of 26kgs. It is found mainly in the eastern and southern parts of Australia which are comparatively cooler and more watered parts. The Common Wombat weighs about 20-40 kilograms and its head and body measure up to 100cm. It can breed every two years.
What is the Northern hairy-nosed Wombat?
The Northern hairy-nosed Wombat, also called the Yaminon, is found mainly in South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and is a critically endangered species. These are slightly larger than the Common Wombat and can give birth to two joeys every two years. Their nose is of critical importance to them as they are poor-sighted and need to smell their food in the dark.
What is the Southern hairy-nosed Wombat?
These are the smallest Wombats found mainly in the dry grasslands in the Southern part of Australia. It is enlisted as a vulnerable species and it is believed that scanty rainfall is the cause of unsuccessful breeding of this species.
The Different Species of Wombats
The extremely cute and adorable wombats are found in Australia. This large, pudgy mammal is a marsupial, or pouched animal also usually found on nearby scattered islands.
Claws and Tooth
Wombats have long claws that are adapted for digging, and they live in burrows, from which they emerge at night to feed on grasses and other plants.
The teeth of wombats are of continuous growth, and, a single pair of chisel like incisors is found in each jaw.
There are three species of Wombats (all only found in Australia):
The common –
It is distinguishably from its cousins the Southern, and Northern Hairy nosed wombats mainly by its nose which is naked, smaller ears and a more rounded head and longer fur due to its living in the colder regions of Australia.
These are strong, stout, sturdy and can move most things in their way. Adult wombats weigh in between 17kg and 40kg in a body length of between 80 cm and 130 cm with the males being a bit larger than the females.
Northern Hairy Nosed –
It is Australia’s most endangered mammal and is found in New South Wales and Victoria.
However it now survives only in a small national park near the Epping Forest Station in tropical Queensland.
This wombat grows up to a height of 80 to 100 centimetres and its tail is 3 to 5 centimetres in length. They weigh up to 50 kilos, the female counterparts being heavier than the male one.
Southern Hairy Nosed-
This wombat is South Australia’s state emblem. Its main difference in looks to the common wombat is that it has a broader nose is covered in fine hairs, which is smaller, has larger more pointy ears and its grey fur is silkier to the touch.
These wombats are found in locations which are generally semi arid to arid, and include grass plains, as well as savannas, coastal dunes and/or small scattered shrubs.
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.