Australian Wombat Facts

There are some interesting Australian wombat facts.

Wombat is not only one of the most interesting Australian animals, it is the largest herbivorous burrowing mammal in the world. It may look slow and stocky, but it can run 40km/h and it has got a larger brain than all other marsupial animals. It is the closest relative to koala which developed to a tree dweller while wombat lives on the ground where it burrows holes and eats roots and leaves.

Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus), Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia
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Wombat Facts: Food
Wombats are more than a metre long bear-looking animals that live in southern parts of Australia. It eats roots and leaves, and it has got a special stomach gland that helps it to cope with a diet so fibrous and low in nutrients. It is very territorial when it comes to food and it chases other animals out of his marked territory with a display of head shaking and growl. The size of its territory is up to 23 hectares and depends on food availability – the scarcer the food, the larger the territory.

Wombat (Family Vombatidae), Australia
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Wombat Facts: Where Do They Live?
They live in burrows. It burrows holes – it can excavate a few metres of burrow a night. It has got a network of burrow systems across its territory, some burrows may be up to 30 metres long. Burrow gives it protection from the weather, bushfires and predators. It spends two thirds of its life underground, resting and giving the burrows continuous maintenance.

Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Coming Out of Den in Curiosity
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Wombat Facts: Behavior
Wombats are solitary animals. Females burrow special nursery chambers in their burrows in which they give birth and raise the young. About a month after mating, female gives birth to a bean-sized young weighing one gram. The young crawls into its mother’s pouch and stays there until it weighs about 3kg and it spends a year learning the tricks of life beside its mother before it’s ready to leave and look for an own territory.

Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus), Wilson's Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia
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Are They Endangered?
Introduced animals such as dingoes and foxes prey on wombats but the main threat to them is habitat destruction by humans and competition from feral herbivores.

Close-Up of a Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus)
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Species of Australian Wombats

There are three species of Australian wombats, although only the first one is common:

Common Wombat
Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus) is found in parts of south-eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and Tasmania. It breeds all year around, is mature in two years and lives up to 15 years. It can weigh up to 39 kilos and its species status is secure.

Captive Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus), David Fleays Santuary, Queensland, Australia
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Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is found on the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia the south-eastern corner of Western Australia. Its breeding season is August to November and it matures at three years of age.

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat, Australia
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Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) is only found in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland, where it is protected by a dingo-proof fence but the tiny population of about 100 individuals is threatened by inbreeding, bushfires, drought and spread of weeds.

Wombat Walking on a Log
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Where To See Australian Wombats
Great places to see wombats are Blue Mountains National Park and Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair in Tasmania, and in many national parks in South Australia. You can get close to them at some of Australia’s many animal sanctuaries and zoo parks: Melbourne Zoo in Melbourne, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, Billabong Sanctuary south of Townsville and Kuranda Wildlife Noctarium north of Cairns to name a few. In these and other zoo parks you can get a photo taken with wombats and other Australian animals.


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