2010 Second year program at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge
Since the reintroduction of the five wombats from Epping Forest National Park (Scientific) (EFNP) to the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge (RUNR), conservation officers have collected considerable footage from active IR cameras that monitored the population. These cameras show the wombats were displaying typical wombat behaviour. What was also interesting, but not as pleasing, was the level of aggression displayed by the largest wombat to the others. In addition to establishing new social boundaries, wombats were also tested with extreme weather conditions: down to minus five degrees when the wombats were moved in winter, over 40 degrees in the heat of summer and then the largest recorded flood at nearby St George.
Unfortunately, two male wombats were found deceased on the property after their release. Autopsies were conducted on the deceased wombats, but the results were inconclusive, though it appeared both had died rapidly.
Nine months since the reintroduction, the three wombats remaining in the population had settled in well and were thriving in their new environment.
Boosting the population at Richard Underwood Nature Reserve 2010
Trapping at Epping Forest National Park targeted the previously collared wombats that had evaded trapping in 2009. Any additional wombats trapped, that were suitable for translocation, were also moved to Richard Underwood Nature Refuge.
During the 2010 trapping sessions, 10 wombats were deemed suitable for translocation, with an additional male and nine females joining the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge population.
|Date trapped||Wombat ID||Age||Previously trapped||Condition (out of 5)||Translocated to RUNR|
|23/04/2010||F157||Adult with PY||Yes||4.5||No|
*Indicates individuals fitted with radio tracking collars.
When wombat F157 was trapped, she was found to be carrying a pouch young and therefore was unsuitable for translocation. It was great to see recruitment in the EFNP population. The joey was about 50mm long but it was not possible to determine the sex.
These trapping sessions marked the end of trapping for 2010; the population of northern hairy-nosed wombats at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge was now 15 (6 males and 9 females).