Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney Australia

Sydney’s Hands-On Wildlife Experience

Hairy-nosed Wombat

Southern Hairy-nosed wombat

Lasiorhinus latifrons

Facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Diprotodontia

FAMILY

Vombatidae

GENUS

Lasiorhinus

SPECIES

latifrons

Lc_Status

Species status information sourced from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Did you know?

  • The derivation of the genus and species namesLasiorhinus latifrons is “broad-headed hairy-nose”.
  • All 3 wombat species have a hard, cartilaginous plate down their lower back and rump, which is used to fend off, and protect from predators.
  • Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are listed as endangered in New South Wales

Why are they endangered in NSW?

  • Habitat destruction
  • Competition for food from feral animals such as rabbits
Southern hairy-nosed Wombat

Description

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are a robust, herbivorous marsupial. They can grow to 1m in length and weigh over 30kgs! Unlike Common Wombats, Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats have a broad, hairy nose, and their fur is smooth, silky and grey-brown. They can also reach speeds of up to 40km/hr!


HABITAT

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are native to the Nullabor plains of Western and South Australia, as well as small patchy ranges through southern South Australia and south-west New South Wales. They inhabit semi-arid areas, with a preference for grasslands, open plains, shrublands, savanna, and open woodland.


diet

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are herbivorous, feeding primarily on perennial native grasses, as well as forbs, dicots and woody shrubs.


social organisation & reproduction

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are more social than Common Wombats, often sharing warrens and burrows. One warren may consist of up to 20 burrows, though not all individuals will utilise them at the same time. One colony of Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats may use up to 20 warren systems, which may lie in an area spanning up to 1km2. Breeding season occurs in spring when rainfall is plentiful, during which females will urinate to signal that they are ready to mate. Males will display heightened aggression towards each other, and females. Increased vocalisation is also common.

A male will follow a female, eventually mounting her from behind and rolling her on her side for mating. If copulation is successful, a single joey will be born after a gestation period of 20-22 days. The joey will develop in a pouch for approximately 9 months, living at foot to the mother after this period until the age of approximately 2 years, when it will disperse to a new territory.

common wombat

Vombatus ursinus

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Marsupialia

FAMILY

Diprotodontia

GENUS

Vombatidae

SPECIES

Vombatus

Lc_Status

Species status information sourced from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Did you know?

  • Wombats will head first into their burrow when being chased by predators, and stick their bottom up so the predator can only attack the hard plate in their back.  They will flick their bottom from side to side to deter the predator and even hit it in the face.
  • Common Wombat’s faeces is cube-shaped!
Common Wombat

Description

Common Wombats are a short, robust marsupial native to south-east Australia and Tasmania. They can grow to an average length of 90-120cm, and can weigh anywhere from 20-39kgs. They have course brown fur, small slightly pointed ears and a round black nose. The toes on their front feet all face forwards to aid in digging, and the claws on the back toes are long to aid in digging and grooming. Due to their natural digging behaviours, wombats have developed a backward-facing pouch, to avoid dirt flying into it. Common Wombats have a hard, cartilaginous plate in their lower back and rump, which they use for protection against predators. The Common Wombat has a lifespan of 15-20 years in captivity, and 10-15 years in the wild.


Habitat

Common wombats can be found in wet and dry sclerophyll forests, as well as alpine, woodland and heathland environments and coastal scrub.  Common Wombats dig burrow systems known as warrens. One warren can consist of numerous burrows or entrances, and each burrow main contain a bedding chamber lines with leaves. One burrow can be as long as 20 metres.


diet

Common Wombats are a herbivorous species, feeding on grass, roots and leaves.


Social organisation & reproduction

Common Wombats are a solitary animal, coming together only for breeding, which can occur almost any time of year. Usually one joey is born, approximately 30 days after mating occurs. As with all marsupials, Common Wombats are a marsupial, and joeys will develop in the female’s pouch. Common Wombat joeys usually remain in the pouch for the first 8-10 months of development, and then spend the next 10-12 months developing out of the pouch, but remaining with their mother. Joeys will feed on milk from the pouch until the age of 12-15 months, at which time it will feed completely on solid foods.