Monday, July 6, 2009

Endangered animals - Northern hairy-nosed wombat

Australian Northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Northern hairy-nosed wombat is listed as critically endangered with less that 140 wombats still remaining. However, there has been lately some good news too as this marsupial population started recovering from 115 two years ago to 138 this year, mostly thanks to rise in population in one wombat colony in a forest in central Queensland.

25 years ago northern hairy-nosed wombat population counted less than 30 individuals so this current number gives some hope that northern hairy-nosed wombat can actually survive. However there is still lot of work ahead because environmentalists fear that remaining wombat population could still be wiped out by by drought, flood, bushfire or some kind of disease. Therefore scientist are working on new plans to establish a new wombat colony and even to try to introduce southern hairy-nosed females for northern hairy-nosed wombat population to recover.

The genetic pool is still narrow, and the big problem is that there are only around 40 females which makes reproduction problems more difficult. These mammals are more endangered that Sumatran tigers or giant pandas but still many people don't know nothing about these creatures. Though these mammals are not as famous as tigers and pandas they still deserve to survive and we should do anything that is in our power to protect them from going extinct.

Current rise in population has showed that if we create and environment where certain endangered species can peacefully live we will soon see benefits. With the help of rangers that have provided food and water for the wombats in times of drought, carried out controlled burns to prevent wildfires, removed noxious weeds and pests, slashed areas of land to stimulate new grass growth, and put a 12-mile-long predator-proof fence protecting its habitat in Epping Forest, wombat population soon started showing signs of recovery. This is the recipe that can be used in many other parts of the world and save many animals from extinction.

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