wombat homepage

[AUSTRALIAN FAUNA by Robert Schrieber]


click on pictures !


     Wombats are a close relative of the Koala. Both animals have compact
muscular bodies.  Both females have pouches that open rearwards (unlike
kangaroos).  The similarities tend to stop there.  In habits they are quite

     Wombats are burrowing animals and have powerfully built forearms
with short flattened claws.  They can build quite long burrows (20m.) that
they generally occupy alone.  The burrows are dug into the side of hills
rather than vertically into flat ground. A Wombat may visit from one to four
burrows in its home territoy each night.  They are generally solitary
animals but may dig their burrows in an area in common with other Wombats.

     In common with most Australian native animals Wombats are nocturnal and
occupy their burrows during the day.  There are exceptions to this, mainly
in Alpine areas where Wombats may come out during the day in Winter to make
the most of the sunshine.

      Wombats are herbivores and eat grasses, herbs, and roots.  Because
many Australian plants are high in Silica, they tend to be very abrasive to
teeth.  Wombats have rootless teeth, rather like rodents which grow
continuously throughout their life.  They have rather poor eyesight but an
excellent sense of smell.  Interestingly they have quite a large brain, much
larger than that of a Koala.  In nature, large brains are usually given to
the predators since eating grass is usually less intellectually challenging
than sneaking up on a prospective meal.

     My personal experience with the Wombat (named Brutus) was that he was
quite bright and would follow me around and play games rather like a dog.  
He played rather roughly though, I think I still have the bruises.  One of
the first things that I learned with Brutus was just how strong he was.  
He was only about 2kg when he first arrived but if he decided to go in a 
particular direction any obstacles in his way were ruthlessly pushed aside
or even destroyed.  He demolished our fly-wire door in seconds because he 
wanted to come inside and I was silly enough to shut the door in his face.  

     Wombats have few natural predators and probably only Dingos could take 
an adult Wombat.  The only other predator large enough to even take a small
Wombat would be a Wedge-tail Eagle and they are diurnal.  Any fox or dog 
silly enough to chase a Wombat into its burrow is promptly crushed to death
by being pinned to the wall of the burrow by 30kg or so of pure muscle.

Wombats can grow to 40kg or more although 30kg is more common.
Because of their strength and size they are called "bulldozers of the bush".
They are found mostly in the south eastern part of Australia.  Roughly from
south east Queensland down the coastal and mountainous area through 
Victoria and into southern South Australia, and of course Tasmania.

      There are three species. The Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) which
in some areas are quite numerous.  So much so that some farmers still 
regard them as vermin because they damage fences.  There is the Southern 
Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) which is only found in localized
areas of southern Western Australia and South Australia.  It lives in 
desert regions and has some interesting physiological adaptations to its 
harsh environment where it may have to go very long periods without water
in extreme heat.  It is not a common animal even in prefered habitats.

The third species is the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, which would have to
be considered to be on the brink of extinction.  The fossil record indicates
that this animal was once widespread in inland Victoria, New South Wales and
Queensland.  By the beginning of this century the only two known populations
were near Deniliquin in southern New South Wales and in the Moonie River
area of Queensland.  These animals died out in a drought early in the 1900s.
This was probably not due to drought alone but to competition from
introduced grazing animals such as cattle and sheep. 

     The Wombats have a narrower preference of food species.  At this stage 
extiction was assumed. In 1937 a small population was discovered in Epping
Forest in Queensland near Clermont.  It took until 1982 (to our shame) 
to exclude cattle from their area and give them a chance to increase in number.

In 1971 there were only 35 individuals counted, but 1995 there were about 80.
 A recent report suggested this number had dropped again to about 60 but this
is unconfirmed. They will remain in great danger of extinction until there are
sufficient numbers to repopulate other areas, since a single location is too
vulnerable to a chance catastrophe that may wipe them out."

      Wombats may breed at any time of the year.  Usually only one baby is
produced at a time and remains in the pouch for about six months.  When it
has left (or been kicked out) of the pouch it will follow its mother for
nearly another year.  They become sexually mature at about 2 years of age.
They can live up to fives years in the wild and have lived to 20 years in
captivity.  There is evidence that the hairy-nosed ones live longer than
their common cousins.
                       (Wrritten by Robert Schrieber, March-April 1996)     
For further details, please visit Rob's homepage WHIRRAKEE(click here).

Photographs by Robert Schrieber, Bendigo Victoria Australia



location: Bradleys Head Roard Mosman, NSW

My family and I visited this zoo in July 30 1989. It takes only
12 min by ferry from Sydney. This is a big zoo where you can see
many kinds of animals. Especially we enjoyed to see Australians
animals such as PLATYPUS, ECHIDNA, TASMANIAN DEVIL and so on...  
Yes, there was a wombat, but when we visit his residence,he was 
sleeping in his log house as seen below. 

click on picture !

photo by Ikufumi Makino in Jul 1989.



location: Kildare Road, Doonside, NSW

We visited this park in July 31st 1989.  We took a train from 
Sydney and got off at Blacktown. From there it took us about 
20 minutes to the park by bus. We stayed there almost whole day.
We enjoyed to meet many unique Australian animals. There were 
many wombats, cute babies, a few pairs and very friendly hairy
nosed ones.

click on pictures !

photos by Ikufumi Makino in Jul 1989.



location: Lawrence Hargrave Dr. Stanwell tops, NSW

On August 2nd 1989 we took a full day bus tour leaving from Sydney.
We visited this garden on the way to Gledswood farm where we had
a barbecue lunch and sheep shearing show etc.
At this garden you can handshake with kangaroos and hug wombats. 
In the picture below my two sons, Ikutaro(was 12y old) and Yujin
(was 10y old) are luckily holding a lovely wombat with help of
garden's guide. Another memorable thing  was the marvelous
landscape of Wollongong coast.

click on picture !

photo by Ikufumi Makino in Aug 1989.



click on picture !

Here is the story of my wombat experiences.

I was living in Melbourne with my family from 1974 to 1976, when I was
a primary school student.

There were approx. 200 Japanese living in Melbourne, most of them were
representatives and their families of major trading companies.

My family was pretty rare among those Japanese at that time, to find
interest in outdoor activities, such as camping.

We often go out to the countryside, sleeping-bags and a tent tied
on top of a car.

You can see rapid changes in the urban areas, but I hope not much has 
changed since 1970's in the countryside. Driving through the countryside,
Kangaroos, Emus, and rabbits can be seen very often. Of course, wombats
can also be seen sometimes.

Unfortunately, dead ones can be seen more often than those alive.

When we first saw a pair of wombats, both already dead, they were to cross
the road. One was laying injured, and the other just stood there stiff,
probably dead by shock.

It happened just like a scene of a movie "superman". We were driving the
country road and suddenly two black figures came into our eyes.

Dad cried "What's that!" stepping on to break pedal.
Mom cried "That's PIG!"
I cried "NO! that's BEAR!!"
My sister cried "NO!! that's WOMBAT!!!"

My sister was the only one that had read a book on wombats and knew such
creature exists. What an ignorant family!!

When we met an alive one, we just made to stop in front of the wombat
crossing the road. It moves as slow as the slowest tortoise could be.
I was about to shout "Come on! Move! Move!".

Well, now I know that wombat is such kind of animal. I can tell why they
often found dead.

Moving the stage to the zoological garden, wombats can be seen as you can
see. Although, seeing many wild ones before, wombats in the zoo didn't look
like wombats to me. They were much much chubby. But I can't deny in some ways
those chubby ones are very attractive and cuddly.

In 1992, I happened to visit a small preservation facility,Caversham Wildlife
Park in Yanchep,@Western Australia. They keep several endangered species,
such as " hairy-nosed wombat".The following picture was taken at that time.

I'm delighted if you find some kind of comfort through this picture.

                                      Naomi Goto  June 1997

click on picture !

photos by Naomi Goto

Please drop me an email at gdaymate@violet.plala.or.jp (Naomi Goto)



Within Australia there are many fine places to go 
bushwalking. If I have the opportunity arise, when
I can get some time away from work and the weather
is good, there's nothing like getting out into the
bush. These photos have all been taken in an area 
known as the Flinders Ranges which is in South 
The Flinders Ranges is mostly national park area,so it has an abundant amount
of wildlife for the keen bushwalker to see.This photo was taken by a friend of
mine looking over the town of Arkaroola, Sth Australia. By road Arkaroola is
617 km north of the city of Adelaide, and situated in the Northern Flinders
Ranges.Going to Arkaroola was an added bonus for me, because they have a small 
Astronomical observatory and I am also a keen Astronomer. The observatory
houses a Celestron 360mm (14inch) F.11 Schmitt Cassegrain telescope,and visitors
are taken for a tour of the night sky by one of the locals.

This is me bushwalking in the northern ranges not 
far from a place called Mt Painter.

While walking near a remote area known as Echo Camp,
my friend and I were very fortunate to see some very 
rare  Yellow Footed Rock Walabies. You'll notice the 
banded feetand the stripes on the tail of this unique

This shot was taken by my friend as I approached one
of the Walabies. This species is extremely rare and 
very few are left in the wild, so it was a great
experience to be close by one of these rare creatures.

Another shot of the diminutive Walaby.

A rear shot of the Yellow Footed Rock Walaby, so that you
can see the markings on the tail.

This is a closer look at one of these rare Walabies
standing on a small rock. We walked through the area
for about two hours and spotted about five of these
creatures. We also saw many Kangaroos in the same 
area.If you walk through many parts of the Flinders
you are likely to see many different bird species, 
Kangaroos and Emus. The area is also of great
interest to geologists for its many fossils and interesting topography.

If you ever get the chance to visit South Australia, I can thoroughly recommend
a visit to the Flinders. However keep in mind when bushwalking to carry plenty
of water when in remote areas, and to use maps and signposts. Another thing to
remember is that Australia has many highly dangerous snake species, so if you
are to come across any do not approach them!
                                               Paul Curnow, January 1998 
click on pictures to enlarge

photos by Paul Curnow

Please drop me an email at paulc@ching.apana.org.au (Paul Curnow)




Me and my family encounted this tame and friendky wombat at Wilson's
Promotary in Jan 1997.  He was in the shower block drinking from a puddle.
Wilson's Promotary is a wonderful national Park in Victoria.  It is 
about 2 hours from Victoria's capital city - Melbourne.

                                   Peter Spencer   July 1997
click on picture !


click on pictures !

I met this cute wombat(left) at a wildlife park on the way to Phillip island near Melbourne.
The right one is our pet came back with us from Australia.
                                   Sayuri Imanishi  Feburary 1998


wombat homepame
Copyright(c)1996 of the respective photographers and organizations,
All rights reserved.
Please leave your message at