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Lasiorhinus latifrons

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DIPROTODONTIA VOMBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Lasiorhinus latifrons
Species Authority: (Owen, 1845)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat
French Wombat À Narines Poilues Du Sud

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Taggart, D. & Robinson, T.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because, although there are sporadic outbreaks of sarcoptic mange, competition with introduced herbivores, susceptibility to drought, and severe fragmentation in parts of its range, the species has a wide distribution, large population, occurs in a number of protected areas, and it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is endemic to Australia, where it is largely distributed in southern South Australia, west of the Murray River, and patchily distributed on the York Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula; also present across the Nullarbor Plain into Western Australia. There are two colonies in New South Wales. Its range may have expanded in the last 45 years.
Countries:
Native:
Australia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is patchily distributed within its range. It is abundant on the Nullarbor Plain, where there are estimates of between 50,000 and 100,000 in the South Australia portion. There are no population estimates for the Western Australia portion of the Nullarbor Plain. In the Murray Lands, there seem to be 10,000 - 15,000 individuals, but the population has declined by about 70 percent here since 2002, probably due to drought and sarcoptic mange. The species is now highly fragmented on the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas. Remnant York Peninsula populations include: Wool Bay with about 100 individuals, Port Victoria has about 400, Urania has about 200; and there are 50 - 100 on Kadina. There are 100 - 1,000 estimated in Lake Eberard. The Bawler Ranges hold about 10,000 individuals (but this estimate is about 25 years old). Ellistron holds approximately 3,000 individuals. Small Kellidie contains about 100, and there are about 100 on Wedge Island (the latter is an introduced population).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in semi-arid areas of grassland, open plains, shrublands, savanna, and open woodland. Animals live in colonies within extensive burrow systems. Each warren contains several animals (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008). The species is long-lived (reaching more than 15 years in the wild) (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008), and has a low rate of recruitment. Females are thought to be monogamous, and they produce a single young that lives in the pouch for six to seven months and is weaned after about a year (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008). However, in drought years reproduction may cease and three consecutive years of ample rainfall are needed for there to be an increase in a population (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008). Animals become sexually mature at about 3 years of age (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Presumably the range of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat declined through conversion of suitable habitat to agricultural land (in the past, for part of its range, though much of the current range is in pastoral lands). It is threatened by competition for grazing by domestic stock and introduced rabbits (Taggart and Temple-Smith 2008). Sarcoptic mange is now major a threat in the Murray Lands to the east; it kills 80-90 percent of affected populations/groups. Drought is another threat, especially for successful reproduction (the species needs a minimum of three years without drought to increase in number and reproduction ceases during drought years).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is found in several protected areas in South Australia. There is a need to reduce inbreeding among York Peninsula populations, likely through translocation and the introduction of individuals.

Citation: Taggart, D. & Robinson, T. 2008. Lasiorhinus latifrons. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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