Marie's on a mission to protect wombats

Nimmitabel's Marie Wynan devotes her time to protecting Bare-Nosed Wombats, and has been awarded a grant to produce an educational film on the beloved native animal.

Nimmitabel's Marie Wynan devotes her time to protecting Bare-Nosed Wombats, and has been awarded a grant to produce an educational film on the beloved native animal.

THEY are one of Australia's most loved and iconic animals, however habitat loss and a debilitating parasitic infestation threatens the future of the beloved wombat.

A Nimmitabel conservationist is on a mission to restore wombat numbers throughout south-eastern NSW and recently received a 2014 Private Land Conservation Grant to produce an educational video on the challenges confronting wombats.

Marie Wynan has spent the past 15 years caring for Bare-Nosed Wombats through Wildlife Rescue Far South Coast. With assistance from her husband, the dynamic duo rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wombats.

The documentary will delve into the factors contributing to the reduction in wombat numbers, such as habitat loss, Sarcoptes Scabies (mange) and eradication.

Ms Wynan is hopeful of generating a deeper understanding of wombats throughout the community.

"The idea of the film came about from the frustration of the misconception and lack of knowledge of wombats," Ms Wynan said.

"The Bare-Nosed Wombat is highly intelligent and the largest burrowing animal in the world. It's suppose to be a protected native animal.

"Wombats are declining in population due to human activity, habitat loss, motor vehicle accidents and diseases such as Sarcoptes Scabies (mange)."

A decade ago Ms Wynan started treating wombats in the field suffering from mange. In conjunction with the Wombat Protection Society of Australia (WPSA) she formed treatment plans effective in treating mange.

Without treatment wombats will experience a slow, painful death and spread the infestation to other wombats.

MS Wynan has been heavily involved in national efforts to protect wombats, and was a member of the WPSA since its creation in 2006.

The film is the next step in Ms Wynan's pursuit of saving the animal she has devoted so much of her life to.

"Local film maker Laura Clark has received the contract of making the educational film addressing the issues facing wombats," Ms Wynan said.

Ms Wynan and her husband currently find themselves in Bemboka's Glenbog State Forest, monitoring the affects logging activity is having on wombat numbers.

"We found a wombat who had the beginning stages of mange due to the stress of losing its habitat and now it has moved into another territory, therefore allowing the mange to spread," Ms Wynan said.

The Private Land Conservation Grant is administered by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife and Chief Executive Officer, Susanna Bradshaw, said land -owners have a crucial role to play in protecting our native animals.

"Support for individuals and groups undertaking conservation works on their own properties is important because 83 per cent of Australia is outside the formal network of protected areas," Ms Bradshaw said.

"Conservation on private properties can add up to important wildlife corridors linking up habitats between national parks across the country."

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