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Type: Journal article
Title: The population status of southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons). I. Distribution and abundance
Author: Swinbourne, M.
Taggart, D.
Ostendorf, B.
Citation: Australian Mammalogy, 2021; 43(1):40-53
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0310-0049
Statement of
Michael Swinbourne, David Taggart and Bertram Ostendorf
Abstract: There is disagreement within the community regarding whether the distribution and abundance of southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is increasing or decreasing. On one hand, farmers and graziers within areas where wombats can be found have consistently claimed that wombat numbers have increased in recent decades. Conversely, conservation groups, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), claim that the wombat population is experiencing a species-wide decline, and recently upgraded its conservation status to ‘Near Threatened’. To resolve this disparity, we used a combination of field surveys and the analysis of satellite imagery to map the species-wide distribution and to estimate the overall population abundance of southern hairy-nosed wombats. We found that the wombat population has grown substantially since the last major surveys in the 1980s; however, the growth has not been uniform. While the population group in the Gawler Ranges has experienced marked population growth, there has been only relatively modest growth in the Murraylands. On the Yorke Peninsula, while the overall population numbers do not appear to have changed, some colonies have disappeared entirely. We also found a substantial population of wombats in Western Australia that had not been previously reported.
Keywords: Human–wildlife conflict; remote sensing; satellites
Rights: Journal compilation © Australian Mammal Society 2021
DOI: 10.1071/AM20016
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