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Donate to help wombats

Understanding Wombat Mange

Sarcoptes scabei is possibly one of the most significant threats to wombats. The history of bare-nosed wombats in Australia, since European settlement, is underpinned by a steady decline in populations on the mainland, and ongoing population monitoring and assessment of the level of sarcoptic mange, will assist in documenting threats to wombats.

Since 2008 we have been conducting a study of the bare-nosed wombat population in the Wolgan Valley, NSW. As part of that study we developed a mange scoring system to measure the level of mange in wombats in the field. We have also trialed non-invasive treatment stations to determine if the level of mange in the wild wombat population could be reduced. This initial study found the population at this study site was very large, and was the largest ever recorded in the literature (over 11 wombats per hectare). Our study also determined that in areas with a high abundance of wombats, a higher proportion of the wombats had mange and that it was more severe than in wombats living in areas of lower density. Treatment of wombats in these areas was nearly impossible due to the huge numbers, and habits of the wombats, and was not feasible due to the incredibly labour intensive efforts required.

Various groups are however currently treating some populations of wombats, where wombats are found in low numbers (with treatment flaps and via the pole and scoop) or using invasive techniques (catching the wombats). These techniques are still very labour intensive and only possible in selected areas. We therefore need to develop a nation-wide strategy where everyone works together on the common problem using non-invasive techniques. Donated money will aid research towards the development of a nation-wide wombat mange strategy in the longer term.

How to donate to help wombats

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Thank you for giving generously. Your assistance is very important!