How many wombats?


This paper and an article on ABC News details recent genetic work indicating that three subspecies should be recognised in the common wombat Vombatus ursinus, one on mainland Australia, one in Tasmania and one on the Bass Strait Islands. These were all named in the 19th Century based on body size and analysis of skeletons. The new genetic study supports these subspecies as distinct.


One of the subspecies is highly endangered by mange disease, and this work will contribute to its conservation.


Yes it's real. Vombatus ursinus ursinus on Maria Island. This population, hugely popular with tourists, was established following a translocation in 1971 from Flinders Island, where it is now threatened by mange.

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