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Scientific Name: 
Lasiorhinus latifrons
Species class: 
Least Concern
Quick Facts

Life Span:15 years (oldest wombat in human care lived to 34 years)

Size: Body length: 100-120cm

Weight: 19-32kg

Speed: When alarmed they can bound as fast as 40km per hour over short distances. 

Fun Facts

Wombat cousins: There are 3 species of wombat – the Common wombat, Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat and Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.  Like the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, the Common wombat population is of Least Concern; however the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat which is found in Queensland is classified as Critically Endangered. 

Both species of Hairy Nose Wombat have just that – a hairy nose – which is one feature distinguishing them from the bald nosed Common Wombat.  They also have much softer fur, large pointed ears and wider nasal bones than the Common wombat.

A hard rear end: All wombats have a hard cartilage plate at the rear of their body to protect themselves and close off the entrance to their burrows.

Conserving water and energy: In times of drought the wombat browses on shrubs and conserves water by producing very small quantities of urine and dry faecal pellets. It will also rest during the day in a humid burrow, allowing its body temperature to fall, thereby conserving both water and energy.  

Distribution Map: 

There are three species of Wombat in Australia, the Common, Southern Hairy-nosed and Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats. The Southern and Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats are distinguished from the Common Wombat by their silky fur, long ears and furry muzzles.

The coat of the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat is silver-grey or mottled brown on the back, and pale grey on the belly. The head is broad and flat, with narrow, pointy ears and small eyes. The bridge of the wombat’s nose is covered with white or brown hair. The limbs are short, with small toes and flattened claws. The second and the third toes of the hind leg are fused with a double claw that the wombat uses for grooming.

Under the skin at the back fo their bodies, all wombats have a hard plate-like shield of cartilage which protects them should a predator try to follow them into their burrow and attack them from behind.

At Taronga:

Taronga Zoo’s ‘Backyard to Bush’ exhibit houses a collection of five Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats.

Breeding of Southern and Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats in captivity is notoriously difficult.  In 2012, after 30 years without success, Taronga welcomed a female joey named Turra.

Through breeding the Southern Hairy-nosed wombats Taronga can research the behaviours and needs of these wombats, and contribute to saving the Northern Hairy-nosed wombat which is critically endangered.

Education workshops are provided to students where they learn more about this amazing species. 

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