Over the last 2 decades, mange has spread like wildfire in Australia and is now affecting over 70% of wild bare-nosed wombat populations. The only effective way to eradicate mange on a large scale is the implementation of population treatment programs instead of targeting individual manged wombats. This project will help to implement large scale treatment projects that will target whole populations of wombats in the Canberra and surrounding New South Wales areas.
Wombat numbers have declined drastically due to land clearing, competition for food due to overgrazing by cattle and sheep, shot by farmers, car-strikes and most importantly - mange. Wombats are particularly badly affected by mange (an introduced parasite which is scabies in humans) and face months of intense agony and suffering before certain death. Without our intervention the species will face extinction within the next 30 years if we allow their numbers to decline at the current rate
The goal of this project is to implement at least 5 additional large scale wombat population treatment programs in areas with a high incidence of mange. If a whole area with all resident wombats is targeted instead of just providing treatment to individual wild wombats, the success rate for eradicating mange is much higher and the rate of re-infection is reduced. The project will provide burrow-flaps, medicine, training for volunteers and install wildlife cameras to monitor progress.
Depending on population size, large treatment projects can take between 6-12 months to complete. Over the next couple of years, the intention is to eradicate mange in wild wombat populations in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounds. Wombat Rescue will work with a group of volunteers to monitor progress of these wombats, educate landowners and the public in what mange is and how badly wombats suffer from this parasite.