a look at Entwood's diverse animal life
The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)
The importance of habitat protection and Sanctuary status are no better demonstrated than in the case of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. This species is extremely dependent on its burrow for survival. The burrow provides security and the ability for the animal to survive the extremes of an arid environment.
The importance of habitat protection and Sanctuary status are no better demonstrated than in the case of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. This species is extremely dependent on its burrow for survival. The burrow provides security and the ability for the animal to survive the extremes of an arid environment. This is achieved by temperature and humidity being maintained at ideal levels in the underground burrows, enabling the animals to conserve body moisture and energy. They usually emerge only at night, when temperatures are lower, to feed on high fibre, low nutrition grass. They often dig extensive warren systems of many interconnected burrows, containing up to a dozen individual wombats.
They have suffered greatly in the last 175 years from human interferences such as:
The most commonly observed kangaroo on the Sanctuary, Western Greys are gentle herbivores that occupy the equivalent ecological niche of deer in the northern hemisphere. Females are thought to have a home range of approximately three square miles, whilst males roam over a ten square mile range. However, unlike wombats, they are more capable of moving to more favourable pasture in times of drought and have been known to cover 100 kilometres in a day.
Numbers vary on the Sanctuary and seem to fluctuate up to about 20% according to seasonal conditions. Even in good seasons we have never observed huge increases in population and numbers always seem to stay in balance with the environment. Small mobs appear to be resident here, to the extent that some individuals can be recognised on a regular basis and are quite tolerant of our presence.
This species is less common on Entwood and more nomadic in behaviour. They are magnificent to observe in the wild with males growing 60 to 80 kgs in weight and standing several metres in height. Females, and some males, are not red coloured but blue/grey and are known as blue fliers. Reds are generally more skittish than Greys, hopping away if they sight us and we rarely get to identify individuals.
Nocturnal, ant and termite eaters, these creatures of ancient lineage are common on the Sanctuary, but rarely seen. Most sightings are in late Winter or Spring during their mating season. They are relatively safe, with their coat of spines, but are susceptible to attack by stray dogs.
Again habitat destruction has had a massive impact on their natural numbers, along with insecticides, etc.
It was in the early 1990s that we discovered the Yellow-footed Antechinus. We first thought we had found a baby rat but soon realised our mistake. It was exciting to know that these creatures still existed here and subsequent sightings have confirmed their survival. They depend on seasonal supplies of insects and are believed to be at risk due to climate change impacting on that supply.
When Lenny was a toddler he thought he saw a crab crawling up the wall in his room. It turned out to be a microbat, a Goulds Wattled Bat; one of six or more of its kind that we are reliably assured we can expect to find on the Sanctuary. They are often observed hunting during early evening. Hollow trees play an important role in the lives of these creatures, providing secure sleeping quarters for their daytime rest.