Monday 10 June 2024

Mammals on Monday 1: Wombat

The Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) or Common Wombat or Bare Nosed Wombat is found in Tasmania, eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria, with scattered populations in south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria. Across this range, three subspecies are identified, with the wombats in this post be of the sub-species hirsutus.

There are two other species of wombat in Australia - the Northern and Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat (I'm not making this up) but I am yet to see either species.

I spent some time down at Wilsons Promontory National Park last week, and this is a great place to watch wombats, especially in the cooler, shorter days in the year.   If you don't live in Victoria, but happen to visit, I would strongly recommend a trip to The Prom.

Wombats are the worlds largest hole dwelling herbivores, and have a very slow rate of metabolism. Wombats are about 1 m (40 in) in length with small, stubby tails and weigh between 20 and 35 kg (44 and 77 lb). As with many creatures in Australia they are a marsupial, but they are the only one where the pouch faces 'backwards' - which means that it does not fill with soil as the animal moves around in its burrow!

Although their metabolism is slow they can run surprisingly fast - but look find of amusing when they do.

Although technically crepuscular and nocturnal, wombats may also venture out to feed on cool or overcast days, which explains why the cooler months are the best time to see them (in my experience).

The pictures of the young wombat - called a joey - and its mother were taken next to a road!  The wombats ignored the traffic, but were less tolerant of inconsiderate tourists who seem to forget that these are wild animals - not pets or zoo captives!  (Enough already Stewart!) 

Just to show that I look at things other than birds, I'll be doing a Mammal on Monday each Monday for a few weeks.  Cheers  SM


  1. What a great look at these animals. Thank you, Stewart

  2. I rarely see them alive these days. Always road kills on the road

  3. Hari Om
    Just too cute! I look forward to seeing these posts, Stewart. YAM xx

  4. I didn't realise they are so.big. Up to one metre in length, I would have guessed half that length.

  5. They are so darn cute, almost don't look real.