Research:

We fund research and recovery actions to conserve the Northern hairy-nosed wombat.

Habitat

In 2013, The Wombat Foundation provided funding to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for the project, Implementation of buffel grass management at Epping Forest National Park (Scientific): The impact of buffel grass on the northern hairy-nosed wombat and development of control methods.

 

The Problem

Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) is a highly invasive species that has become widespread across much of northern and inland Australia.

Buffel grass has invaded large areas of wombat habitat on Epping Forest National Park (Scientific), which is one of only two sites that support the endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat.

Buffel grass increased as a proportion of northern hairy-nosed wombat diet at Epping Forest National Park from 2% in 1982-83 to 30% in 1999-01.

Although consumed by the wombats, buffel grass is out-competing the native grasses that are the preferred food source for the wombats. Additionally, the density of the buffel grass growth is restricting the movement of the wombats through their habitat.

 

Project objectives

  • Determine the impact of buffel grass on the behaviour, diet and movements of the wombats.
  • Determine the best methods of buffel grass control in wombat habitat.
  • Determine the best methods to re-establish native grasses in areas where buffel control occurs.

Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris)

Source: Wikipedia

Lindsay Hogan (researcher) and 'Esme' the Southern Hairy-nosed.

Computer Modelling of the Anatomy
of the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Pictures of 3D Computer Modelling
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

The Wombat Foundation is funding world-leading researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) to use advanced diagnostic imaging techniques including Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MR) to develop 3D anatomical models of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat.

 

The Problem

Despite the critically endangered status of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat, there is a general lack of anatomical information. The latest technology provides researchers with a unique opportunity to deliver a new dimension in knowledge, understanding and awareness of this important species.

 

Objectives

To provide a digital library resource of interactive 3D computer-based anatomical models of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat for research, educational and promotional purposes. To analyse the cranial anatomy of the wombats to assess whether environmental changes have impacted on anatomy over time. To use this information to contribute to conservation management strategies to benefit the Northern hairy-nosed wombat.

Videos of 3D Computer Modelling

(Click on thumbnails to watch)

DNA Hair Census

The Wombat Foundation has financially supported the analysis of DNA from the hair censuses in 2007 and 2013.

The hair census is an ingeniously simple way of estimating the number (and sex) of Northern hairy-nosed wombats.

Basically, a piece of double-sided sticky tape is placed at every known burrow entrance on the park.

Every morning for nine days, volunteers and QPWS staff walk the park collecting the tape and replacing it with fresh pieces. The tape that is collected then goes to the lab for analysis.

By analysing the hairs that are stuck to the tape, geneticists are able to determine the number of distinct individuals counted and what sex they are.

From this they can then estimate the current size of the population.

Recovery Plan

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is implementing a major recovery program to help save the Northern hairy-nosed wombat.

The Wombat Foundation is represented on the Northern hairy-nosed wombat Recovery Group convened by the Department. The primary function of the Recovery Group is to coordinate implementation of the Recovery Plan for the Northern hairy-nosed wombat.

The Northern hairy-nosed wombat Recovery Plan details the research and management actions required for recovery.

Research

Reproductive studies

Population monitoring

Behavioural studies

Dietary studies

Trapping studies

Management

Predator control

Fire management

Pasture improvement

Establish new populations

Education and information

A taped burrow

Volunteers from the 2007 Hair Census collecting wombat hair

The very first Hair Census team

DOWNLOAD
RECOVERY PLAN

HELP US!

We cannot go it alone. Your support is vital if we are to bring the Northern hairy-nosed wombat back from the brink of extinction.