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wombat

Wombat

Wombats live in Australia. They are found in the forests of Tasmania and Eastern Australia.

Wombat's are marsupials, that is the babies develop in their mother's pouch. They emerge from the pouch after around 6 months. Wombats have strong feet and sharp claws, and are really good at digging. They dig long deep tunnel shaped burrows in which they hid during the heat of the day. They use their claws to dig for grass and plant roots at night. At night they feed on grass and plant roots, using their claws to dig for these.

The wombat is  marsupial and  digs burrows.

A wombat is covered with coarse grey or brown fur, with a large head, a large nose and small ears. It is solidly built with large claws for digging. Its body has a rounded appearance.

Its back is hard and bony. This bony back is a useful defence against intruders in the burrow, as the wombat uses its back to crush them against the burrow wall.

The wombat is nocturnal, which means it is active at night, eating grasses, roots and shrubs. It stays in a burrow in daytime, though sometimes can be seen basking in the sun at the burrow entrance.

It lives alone, except for a female with young.

Interesting Facts

The wombat Vombatus ursinus grows to between 70cm and 1.2m long with a short stubby tail only a couple of centimetres long. Adults weigh about 25 to 35 kilograms.  Wombats are the largest of Australia's burrowing animals.

Wombat burrows can be about 20 metres long, with several entrances and chambers. A wombat generally has a number of burrows in its territory, and may visit several during its nightly wanderings. The wombat marks its territory by leaving droppings (scats) on logs and rocks.

The female's pouch has its opening facing the back legs. When she is digging, the pouch does not fill with soil. A female wombat gives birth to one very tiny young, which moves to her pouch after being born. It stays in the pouch for about 6 months, suckling milk from a teat in the pouch. After it leaves the pouch, it will follow her for another 11 months.

There are three different kinds (species) of wombat.

The southern hairy-nosed wombat is found only on the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia, and the northern hairy-nosed wombat is found only in a small area of Queensland. Both species of hairy-nosed wombat have suffered from loss of habitat and competition from introduced animals such as cattle, sheep and rabbits.

Common wombats are found through forest and woodland areas along the eastern and southern coast of Australia, and in Tasmania. The common wombat is not endangered, although its habitat is decreasing. The nose of the common wombat is naked and its ears are rounded. Two of the three species of wombat are endangered. They are the northern hairy-nosed wombat, which is critically endangered, and the southern hairy-nosed wombat. Both have softer fur than the common wombat, and, as their names suggest, their noses are fur-covered. Their ears are pointy.

Although wombats are generally not active during the day, their burrows may be seen from the walking tracks at Walkabout Park.  The common wombats may be able to be spotted at Walkabout Park in our upcoming nocturnal tours.

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