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Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet, 2013   Tags: australia, burrow, conservation, dig, endangered, fact sheet, fur, grass, hairy-nosed, mammal, san diego zoo, sdzg, tasmania, wombat  

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2017 URL: http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/wombats Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet, 2013

Southern hairy-nosed wombat

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Diprotondontia - koalas, wombats, possums, and macropods (kangaroos, wallabies, etc.)

Family: Vombatidae - wombats

Genus: Vombatus

Species: Vombatus ursinus - common wombat (or bare-nosed wombat)

Subspecies: V. u. ursinus
Subspecies: V. u. hirsutus
Subspecies: V. u. tasmaniensis

Genus: Lasiorhinus

Species: Lasiorhinus krefftii - northern hairy-nosed womat

Subspecies: L. k. barnardi
Subspecies: L. k. gillespiei (extinct)
Subspecies: L. k. krefftii (extinct)

Species: Lasiorhinus latifrons - southern hairy-nosed womat

Body Weight

Common: 22-39 kg (48.5-86.0 lb)
Northern hairy-nosed, males: 28.6-33.4 kg (63.1-76.3 lb)
Northern hairy-nosed, females: 28.9-34.9 kg (63.7-76.9 lb)
Southern hairy-nosed, males: 19-36 kg (41.9-79.4 lb)
Southern hairy-nosed, females: 17.5-36 kg (38.6-79.4 lb)

Head-body Length

Common: 840-1150 mm (33.1-45.3 in)
Northern hairy-nosed, males: 1028-1130 mm (40.5-45.0 in)
Northern hairy-nosed, females: 1037-1125 mm (40.8- 44.3 in)
Southern hairy-nosed, males: 840-1110 mm (33.1-43.7 in)
Southern hairy-nosed, females: 850-1100 mm (33.5-43.3 in)

Tail Length
Common: 25 mm (1.0 in)
Northern hairy-nosed: 25 mm (1.0 in)
Southern hairy-nosed, males: 30-60 mm (1.2-2.4 in)
Southern hairy-nosed, females: 25-54 mm (1.0-2.1 in)

Pelage
Common wombat: hair long, thick, and coarse; yellow-gray to black
Northern hairy-nosed: hair short and silky; brown-gray with gray, brown, or black streaking
Southern hairy-nosed: hair short and silky; silver-gray or mottled brown-gray; neck and chest with white

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range
Australia and Tasmania

Habitat
Forests, grasslands, and woodlands

IUCN Status
Common wombat: Least Concern
Southern hairy-nosed wombat: Near Threatened
Northern hairy-nosed wombat: Critically Endangered

CITES Appendix
Common and southern hairy-nosed: Not listed
Northern hairy-nosed: Appendix I

Other Designations
See Conservation Status

Population in Wild
Common wombat: no recent population estimates reported
Southern hairy-nosed wombat: 100,000-300,000 mature individuals (assessed 2014)
Northern hairy-nosed wombat: 80 mature individuals (assessed 2015)

Locomotion
Walk on soles of their feet. Usually walk, but can move quickly.

Activity Cycle
Nocturnal. Spend a lot of time in underground burrows.

Social Groups
Solitary, except during breeding season. May feed in general proximity to other womats.

Diet
Herbivores: grasses, sedges, forbs, roots, and bulbs.

Predators
Humans, dingoes, wild dogs, red foxes, Tasmanian devils and quolls (Tasmania)

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity
From 2 years old

Gestation
About 21-24 days

Litter Size
Usually 1

Interbirth Interval
Common wombat: breed once per year
Southern hairy-nosed: breed about once every 3 years
Northern hairy-nosed: more variable with rainfall; polyestrus

Birth Weight
About 0.4 g (0.014 oz)

Age at Weaning
Around 12 months

Longevity
About 15 years for common and southern hairy-nosed in the wild; unknown for northern hairy-nosed in the wild

Feature Facts

  • The only large, burrowing, herbivorous mammal
  • Low energy requirements, use of burrows to avoid harsh temperature environments
  • Muscular forelegs for digging
  • Different wombat species have different burrow designs
  • Small home range
  • Use warning vocalizations and hostile posturing to avoid fights (rare)
  • Northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of the world's rarest mammals; Critically Endangered
  • Play observed in young wombats and wombats in captivity
  • Common wombat is the species most commonly observed in zoos
  • Oldest individuals in captivity can live 30 years or more (double that of wild wombats)
 

About This Fact Sheet

© 2013 San Diego Zoo Global. Minor taxonomy and conservation updates 2017.

How to cite: Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet, 2013. c2013-2017. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/wombats
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org.

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