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Wombats

Wombat©Tracie YoungWombats are nocturnal, solitary animals occurring in a wide variety of habitats throughout Australia. All wombats are protected as they are native Australian animals. Some species of wombat like the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat are endangered in NSW.

Appearance

Most wombats seen in NSW will be the common wombat. Common wombats have a large noise covered in grainy skin and southern hairy nosed wombats have a snout covered in fine hairs. Wombats can grow up to around 1.3 metres in length and weight up to 36kgs. Wombats live in burrows that can be up to 30 metres long and they may share these with other wombats although they are very territorial with their feeding grounds. Wombats usually stay in their burrows during the day, they normally come out at night to feed although they can be seen out early in the morning and at dusk and they’ll travel up to 3kms a night looking for food.

Breeding

Wombats can reproduce after they reach 2 years of age and they normally breed between September and December. Wombats are marsupial mammals and the newborn wombat, which weighs about 1 g and is less than 3 cm long, has to crawl from the birth canal into the mother's pouch. The pouch faces backwards, which protects the joey while the mother is digging. Young wombats will normally stay in the pouch for 7-10 months. If a wombat joey loses its mother and has to come into care they can stay in care longer than any other wildlife species, sometimes requiring care for up to 2 years before they can be released back into the wild.

Rescuing Wombats

If you find a sick, injured or orphaned wombat please call WIRES Rescue Office 1 300 094 737 or fill in the Rescue Form. You would need to wait for a rescuer for an adult wombat, however, if you found a joey alive in the pouch (e.g. if the mother was hit and killed by a car), please place it in a quiet, dark, warm place e.g. wrapped in a towel in a ventilated box or carrier with a lid while you transport it to the nearest vet or wait for a rescuer. If you go directly to the vet you can let WIRES know which vet you’ve taken the wombat to and we will follow up with the vet directly to bring them into care after they have been vet assessed and received any necessary treatment.

Much of the content on this page has come from the OEH website: www.environment.nsw.gov.au

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