Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat
Status: Critically Endangered (105 recorded in 2005)
Also known as the Yaminon.
“Wombats are heavily built animals with a broad head and short legs. They have strong claws to dig burrows where they spend much of their time. There are three wombats: the Common Wombat, the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat and the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. As the largest of the three wombats, the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat can weigh up to 40 kg and be more than 1 m long. Compared with the Common Wombat, Vombatus ursinus, the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat has softer fur, longer and more pointed ears and a broader muzzle fringed with fine whiskers” (http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=198#taxonomy)
Habitat: The northern Hairy Nosed wombat species survives only in two very small colonies: The Epping Forest national park and in the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge at Yarran Downs.
The specific habitat they live in is dry semi arid grasslands, dry creek beds, and/or lightly forested area’s. The wombats all live in the same 25km 2 area that is surrounded by 2m high fence designed to keep predators out, but consequently traps the wombats in the one small area.
In the past they were believed to have lived over a much more widespread area. But with the arrival of the Europeans came a introduction of foreign grazing species, that through competition over the same food sources drove the northern Hairy Wombat to near extinction.
The introduction of Bufell grass to Australia about 100 years ago made life even harder for the Northern wombat, as the buffel grass takes over the native grass’s that the northern hairy nosed wombat prefers to eat.