Tuesday, September 8, 2015


This week we will take a look at the world’s largest, herbivorous (plant eating), burrowing, mammal; the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

There are a total of three species of wombat, and of the three, the Northern Hairy-Nosed species is the most endangered. In fact, it’s critically endangered. 

Our subject wombat is different from the other two wombat species in that it has a wider nose, longer and more pointed ears.

Photo credit: http://edge-of-existence-edge.tumblr.com

This wombat, like other wombats, is short and stocky. The whiskers sticking out from the side of its nose are what have given this particular species its name. The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat has a large head and their fur is soft and grey in color. They have strong front claws, which the use to create burrows.

They can grow to a length of forty-two inches and can weigh as much as sixty-six pounds. They are nocturnal mammals and are generally solitary. Spending most of the day inside their complex burrow systems, they emerge at night to graze on different types of grasses. They live in arid areas where they can find sandy soil in which to dig their homes. The entrances to their burrows are usually located near to the base of a tree.

The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, like all other wombats, is a marsupial, which means it has a pouch, just like the Kangaroo and the Koala. Their babies will stay in their mother’s pouch for eight to nine months, and are typically weaned (stop feeding on mother’s milk), at twelve months. When they leave their mother’s pouch, at about nine months, the young wombats stay in the burrows waiting for their mother to come back from foraging for food.

There are thought to be less than one hundred Hairy-Nosed Wombats left in the wild and there are none in captivity. The last colony lives in the Epping Forest in Central Queensland. A dingo-proof fence protects this colony since dingos, which are an introduced species of dog, preyed on the wombat and significantly reduced the population. Drought and brush fires are also a major cause for the decline of this wombat. It has also lost much of its habitat to farming.

I have found a video for you, which provides a lot of information about the Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Please take a moment to watch it.

Also, JUST FOR FUN, check out this video:  ‘10 Jobs for Wombats.’ 

If you would like to learn more about this particular species of wombat, visit any one or all of the following sites:

As usual, my thanks to Arkive for some of the information and images I have used on this blog post.

Please stop by again next week! 

Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!