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Lasiorhinus krefftii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DIPROTODONTIA VOMBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Lasiorhinus krefftii
Species Authority: (Owen, 1873)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Queensland Hairy-nosed Wombat
French Wombat À Narines Poilues Du Queensland, Wombat À Nez Poilu De Queensland
Spanish Oso Marsupial Del Río Moonie

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Taggart, D., Martin, R. & Horsup, A.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered because the extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2, all individuals are known from a single location, and the quality of its habitat is declining due largely to invasive exotic grasses.
History:
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Endangered (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia, where it formerly ranged from Deniliquin in south-central New South Wales north to Mount Douglas in central Queensland. It is currently restricted to Epping Forest National Park, 120 km north-west of Clermont in central Queensland (Horsup and Johnson 2008). The species' range at Epping Forest National Park covers 500 ha, or less than one sixth of the park (Horsup 2004; Horsup and Johnson 2008). Fossils of this species have been found as far south as Victoria.
Countries:
Native:
Australia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The current population of Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats is 115 animals (Horsup and Johnson 2008). The population had fallen as low as 30-40 individuals in the early 1980s, but the exclusion of cattle from its range in 1982 led to a steady increase in numbers. Periods of drought can greatly reduce the population (as in the mid 1990s) (Horsup and Johnson 2008). In 2000 Dingoes eliminated 15-20 individuals and a 20-km-long fence now encompasses the entire population (Horsup and Johnson 2008).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in areas of deep alluvial soils and open eucalypt woodlands along inland river systems. The species requires a supply of perennial native grasses near to its burrows (Horsup 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species declined through extensive broad-scale habitat destruction and competition with cattle and sheep, particularly during droughts (Horsup 2004). It is currently threatened by its small colony size, making it vulnerable to local catastrophes (disease or wildfire), demographic and environmental stochasticity, inbreeding and subsequent loss of genetic variation, and by native competitors and introduced predators (Horsup 2004). Introduced buffel grass is taking over its natural habitat within Epping Forest National Park.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed as a threatened species by Queensland and by Australian law. Its entire range is within the Epping Forest National Park. The Recovery Plan for this species is in its third edition (see Horsup 2004). The following management actions are underway or planned:

1) Control threats and manage habitat. Predator control  A 20-km predator fence was built in 2002 to prevent a repeat of dingo predation that killed at least 15 wombats in 2000. Monitor and control competitors  The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is the major competitor for food and its numbers are being monitored. Habitat management  Introduced buffel grass is regularly slashed to promote green growth and native species. Fire management  Annual burns are undertaken to reduce fuel loads and promote plant diversity. Supplementary feed and water provisioning  Feed and water stations are now being used by wombats, particularly in dry times (Treby et al. 2007). Permanent management presence on Epping Forest National Park  A volunteer caretaker program ensures twice daily monitoring of the dingo fence.

2) Accurately monitoring wombats. Population censuses  Three censuses each year minimize disturbance and maximize the accuracy of the result and involve collecting wombat hair on sticky tape to extract DNA (see Banks et al. 2003). Burrow monitoring  This is undertaken every six months and monitors activity levels at burrows as an "early warning system". Trapping  This was the major means of censusing prior to development of the DNA technique and is now only undertaken when necessary (e.g., to attach radio-collars).

3) Translocation. Locate sites for the establishment of future Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat colonies and develop translocation techniques on Epping Forest National Park.

4) Develop captive techniques on other wombat species. Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats are being used to improve wombat captive breeding and reproductive monitoring techniques. There are no Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats in captivity.

5) Monitor wombat biology and ecology. This includes ongoing studies of diet, reproduction, habitat utilization, behavior, and burrow architecture.

6) Manage the recovery team. A full-time Recovery Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing the Recovery Plan, making all relevant information available to recovery personnel, obtaining funding for the Recovery Plan, and undertaking research and monitoring.

This species is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Citation: Taggart, D., Martin, R. & Horsup, A. 2008. Lasiorhinus krefftii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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