Whatever She Can:
Orange wildlife educator Linda Dennis is traveling to
Queensland to help save
the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
By Ben Brennan
people consider wombats to be little more than a road hazard but not many people
realise that some species of wombat are on the edge of extinction.
wildlife educator Linda Dennis is leaving on a 11 day, 3200km round trip to do
what she can to help save the world's last Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats.
115 still exist in the wild and there are none in captivity. It is the most endangered
animal in Australia.
one of the most vulnerable species in Australia," she said.
anything bad happened to them or their environment, they'd be gone."
is traveling to Epping Forest Scientific National Park in Queensland today, the
only known home of the wombat.
says her destination is "in the middle of nowhere," and upon arrival
she will work with Australian Geographic and Dr Alan Horsup of the Queensland
Parks and Wildlife Service.
Geographic have provided some money for her travel however she is donating the
majority to help purchase a weigh station that can help monitor wombat health
without distressing the animals through excess human contact.
she is there she will help in collecting hair samples for DNA analysis which will
give scientists a clear picture of the population - and will importantly let them
know if any new wombats have been born.
week Linda was given an Action Award by the International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW) for her efforts to educate people about wildlife.
has decided to donate a portion of her prize money and has encouraged every one
to donate towards the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service's effort to save the
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
Linda is donating the full IFAW award to the EPA Wombat Survival Fund. You too
can donate to the fund. Cheques can be made payable to the "EPA Wombat Survival
Fund" and mailed to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr Alan Horsup,
PO Box 3130 Redhill Qld 4701
Cousin: Orange wildlife carer and educator Linda Dennis
only had an opportunity
to meet the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat's first cousin,
the Southern Hairy-Nosed
Wombat, close up.
Photo: Fourth Crossing Wildlife
By Ben Brennan
Irwin had it wrong. Crocs don't rule, Wombats rule", Orange wildlife crusader
Linda Dennis said after returning from working with the endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed
Wombats in Queensland.
Dennis traveled to Epping Forest Scientific National Park earlier this month to
work with Dr Alan Horsup of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to help
conduct a census of Australia's most vulnerable endangered species. It is estimated
that just over 100 are still alive.
Dennis spent two weeks with Dr Horsup and other volunteers sponsored by Australian
Geographic collecting wombat hair samples to gain information on the wombat's
numbers and movements.
too soon to tell what kind of number we're looking at... it would seem the activity
is up compared to how many hair samples were collected at the last census,"
Ms Dennis said.
is a great sign... the hair samples are now in the safe custody of Monash University
for processing but it will be several months before we get the final figure."
park is the only habitat for the Northern Hairy-Nosed wombats and Ms Dennis is
now one of only 500 people in the entire world to have seen one in the wild.
Dennis said the trip was hot and dirty but worth the effort.
was bloody hard work but it was two of the best weeks of my life... I'm in debt
two weeks holidays from next year now but I have to thank my boss for letting
me leave on short notice," Linda said.
said she was now counting down the days until the next time she got to visit the
becomes a bit of a dependency. I can't wait to go back to see the wombat,"
Dennis has urged anyone who wants to help save the endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed
Wombat to send donations to the EPA Wombat Survival Fund care of the Queensland
Parks and Wildlife Service in Rockhampton.
Donations can be made payable to the "EPA Wombat Survival Fund" and
mailed to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr Alan Horsup, PO Box 3130 Redhill