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Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet: Summary

Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet

Southern hairy-nosed wombat

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical 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)

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 & Status Behavior & Ecology

Australia and Tasmania

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
Northern hairy-nosed wombat: about 250 individuals in the wild

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.

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

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

Reproduction & Development Species Highlights

Sexual Maturity
From 2 years old

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

Typical Life Expectancy
Wild populations: Not well known. Possibly about 15 years but more research needed.
Managed care: common wombat, 12–15 years; southern hairy-nosed wombat, 10–15 years; northern hairy-nosed wombat: unknown.

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 managed care
  • Common wombat is the species most commonly observed in zoos
  • Oldest individuals in managed care can live 30 years or more (twice as long as wild wombats)

About This Fact Sheet

For detailed information, click the tabs at the top of this page.


© 2013-2018 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor taxonomy and conservation updates 2017. Population and conservation updates 2018.


How to cite: Wombats (Vombatus and Lasiorhinus spp.) Fact Sheet. c2013-2017. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. wombats
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)


Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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

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