General Description

Large, solidly-built wombat with short, powerful legs and tail. Broad feet and long, strong claws help it to dig burrows. The leathery nose is covered in fine hairs and the body fur is silky and soft. The ears are pointed. Head and body length is 111 cm.

Biology

Hairy-nosed wombats are social animals that live in small colonies in burrow systems (warrens), usually dug in limestone or calcrete. When wombats live in agricultural lands there is often conflict because of the damage they do to fences and roads. Warrens are shared by individuals, but burrows are usually occupied by single animals. Home range is small (less than 5 ha) for such a large animal. The diet is perennial grasses, forbs and the introduced Thread Iris. Wombats are primarily nocturnal but sometimes venture out on warm days in winter and spring. When startled they can reach speeds of up to 40 km per hour. Young are born in late winter and spring after a pregnancy of about 22 days and occupy a backward-facing pouch. Sexual maturity is not until about 3 years of age and animals can live for more than 15 years.

Distribution

Southern Australia.

Habitat

Semiarid grasslands, including some agricultural lands of southern Australia.

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