Wombats on the move

ON THE MOVE: This wombat as transported to Yarran Downs, near St George, this week.
ON THE MOVE: This wombat as transported to Yarran Downs, near St George, this week. cont

THE dating pool for one of Clermont's fuzziest residents has just opened up.

The healthy 26kg female northern hairy-nosed wombat has been flown 600km from Epping Forest National Park to Richard Underwood Nature Refuge, Yarran Downs, to bolster a second State Government-established colony for the endangered species.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said rangers caught the young adult at the weekend. “This is great news for our second wombat colony,” Ms Jones said.

“After the airlift, the female wombat was transported from St George airport to Yarran Downs and released into a pre-dug ‘starter' burrow to give her the best possible chance to establish in the second colony.”

Ms Jones said it was hoped to capture nine wombats; three males, and six females.

“Based on previous experience this is optimistic but we will continue to trap at Epping Forest for the next two weeks,” she said.

Ms Jones said the northern hairy-nosed wombat was more endangered than the Sumatran tiger, Central Africa's mountain gorilla and China's giant panda.

“Epping Forest National Park in Central Queensland has been home to the last remaining population of northern hairy-nosed wombats for more than 100 years,” she said.

“The population is estimated to be as low as 138 individuals.

“Establishing a second colony, while risky, means that we can halve the risk of one natural disaster like disease, fire or flood, wiping out the entire species.”

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