Wombats are small bear-like, cute-looking muscular quadrupeds that are native to Australia. Seemingly gentle and suitable to be kept as pets, they can be very stubborn and aggressive creatures. However there are certain misconceptions about Wombats that I would like to discuss in this article.
Myth: Wombats are rodents/moles and they behave like them
Truth: Wombats are marsupials (mammals with a pouch) and hence very different from rodents. They are the closest relatives of Koala. Human negativity towards rodents and the myth that Wombats are rodents have led to their mismanagement.
Myth: Wombats didn’t exist earlier.
Truth: Wombats need a habitat that allows numerous burrows and they prefer to eat native grasses. Wombats were found all over Australia but now due to environmental degradation and human activity their population has shifted mainly to the coastal regions.
Myth: There is a sudden population explosion of Wombats in the Bega Valley Shire
Truth: The Common Wombats can reproduce only once in about 2-3 years and they mostly give birth to a single baby. Although it is technically possible for a Wombat to reproduce annually they do not get pregnant while they are lactating. Also they do not breed if they have not established a large enough territory. Thus Wombats can’t really have population explosions.
Myth: Wombats cause excessive soil erosion
Truth: Wombats do cause soil erosion but that is minimal as compared to other factors like over-grazing, fire, felling of trees, etc. Many researches seem to indicate that Wombats actually benefit the soil processes.
Myth: Wombats are a menace in the farmland and difficult to control
Truth: Wombats are actually intelligent creatures and they can be trained about electric fences.