Off Topic Wombats

moto748

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I've just been reading up about wombats. They are much bigger than I imagined; I visualised something about the size of a guinea pig, but it seems they are more dog-sized.

Do they venture into people's gardens, etc, or do they stay away from built-up areas?
 

ALX22

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Never seen one in the wild in QLD. Apparently still killed by people who dislike any native creatures in rural areas. Poor fencing in the southern states has created an increased roadkill of wombats.
 

moto748

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Ha! Feisty creatures, aren't they!

We only have badgers, of course, and they are pretty scaredy-cat and are nocturnal anyway.
 

S J

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They can cause a lot of trouble in the bush - digging burrows etc. Quite a few die on the roads too - they come out at night and try to cross - they are quite slow.

A lovely looking animal - but can be quite large - think of a guinea pig - but the size of a large dog … without the long legs. Some can be huge.

Start off you'd think they could be a pet - like a pig - but also like a pig just keep growing … :) They can get to 35-40 kilos and be over a metre long - the bigger ones.
 

moto748

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You certainly have some *exciting* wildlife; I'm not too sorry that just about the only dangerous thing in England is the adder (snake), which is vanishingly rare anyway, I've certainly never seen one, I think they are restricted to the South-East around Kent. Badgers are mostly road-kill; I'd seen a lot of dead ones before I ever saw a live one.
 

S J

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I remember once on Fraser Island - a sand island off the Qld coast - we were moving around and having a BBQ at a lovely little spot near Lake McKenzie. On Fraser they have very large monitors. We were sitting at a table and saw this English tourist up on the table yelling for his life. We thought he was joking but he was scared stiff. At his spot on the table was a monitor - about 2 metres long at least - its tail had gone over his bare foot as it wandered under the table.

They really look like small dinosaurs. You are not meant to feed them but people do.
 
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moto748

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The monitors sound amazing. Many years ago I read Illywhacker by Peter Carey (probably my all-time favourite novel), and monitors feature extensively in that wonderful book.
 

S J

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The monitors sound amazing. Many years ago I read Illywhacker by Peter Carey (probably my all-time favourite novel), and monitors feature extensively in that wonderful book.
We have them around here. Initially they can be a shock as you spot them - out sunning themselves. They say they are a good deterrent to snakes. As are bush turkeys in a way.
 
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moto748

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Watching a David Attenborough docu, now he's talking abut quolls. I'd never even heard of them. Apparently they are threatened by the cane road invasion. But just in the Northern Territory, apaz, so I doubt youse guys have seen them.
 

S J

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Quolls - Carnivorous Marsupial

Quolls are carnivorous marsupials native to mainland Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. They are primarily nocturnal and spend most of the day in a den. Of the six species of quoll, four are found in Australia and two in New Guinea. Another two species are known from fossil remains in Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits in Queensland. Genetic evidence indicates that quolls evolved around 15 million years ago in the Miocene, and that the ancestors of the six species had all diverged by around four million years ago. The six species vary in weight and size, from 300 g to 7 kg. They have brown or black fur and pink noses. They are largely solitary, but come together for a few social interactions such as mating which occurs during the winter season. A female gives birth to up to 18 pups, of which only six survive.



We have four species of quoll in Australia:

  1. Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)
  2. Western Quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii)
  3. Eastern Quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)
  4. Northern Quoll (Dasyu

    The primary threats to quolls are habitat loss and fragmentation. Through harvesting timber and clearing native vegetation, humans have reduced the availability of suitable habitat and the abundance of quolls’ prey, and limited the number of hollow logs suitable for dens.

    Foxes and cats prey on quolls and directly compete with them for food. Other human-induced impacts include illegal shooting, car accidents and the ingestion of poison baits set for dingoes and wild dogs. Cane toads have also decimated the Northern Quoll population, though some suggest they’re beginning to learn to avoid the poisonous toads.
 

moto748

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The docu was partly about attempts to 'teach' the quolls to avoid the toads.
 

ALX22

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We now have to watch out for the Asian Spined Toad which has hitchhiked in cargo. I think some have already been found in WA and ViC.