Did you know: The Australian Numbat - another Endangered Species 🎥
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
The numbat is a small endangered marsupial animal native to parts of Australia and is an omnivorous animal. But it’s diet primarily consists of termites, the occasional ant and other small insects. An adult numbat can eat more than 20,000 termites in just one day.
The name “Numbat” is derived from Australian Aboriginal terms including noobat, nombat, nyoombot and nambart. Early European names for the species included banded anteater, marsupial anteater and white-banded bandicoot.
Numbats are solitary animals with large home ranges. They spend the daylight hours hunting for termites and in the dark nights in hollow logs and burrows. The numbat can only survive in areas warm and dry enough to support adequate termite populations as their major food. They also need plenty of natural shelters such as fallen logs.
The numbat was once widespread in Australia with populations in several states.
Like so many native animals the numbat is now under threat from habitat loss and introduced predators like foxes and feral cats and has become locally extinct throughout much of its original range. It has been estimated that there are only 1,500 numbat individuals left in the wild.
Other factors that increase this threat include a reduction in habitat caused by the collection of firewood, clearing for agriculture and land clearing for commercial purposes. Altered fire regimes resulting in extensive and intense wildfires may also reduce ground cover and increase vulnerability to exotic predators.
Only two natural numbat populations remain today: one in the “Dryandra Woodland Conservation”, the other in the “Tone-Perup Nature Reserve”, both of which are in Western Australia. Additional populations exist in six fenced reserves into which the species has been reintroduced, four in Western Australia, one in New South Wales and another in South Australia.
AWC - Australian Wildlife Conservancy - protects almost 30% of the remaining numbat population and the only numbat populations which are not in decline. Conservationist Organisations such as ‘Project Numbat’ and Perth Zoo (WAZA Conservation Project) as well as individual projects through fund-raising also assist in the effort to save this little creature from distinction.
Learn more about the Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), watch:
The numbat is a characterful and distinctive Australian animal and it would be a tragedy if it were to become extinct.
Let us hope - dear reader - that all the conservation measures are successful and that numbers of this little marsupial begin to recover.
Active Wild, 2017 (viewed 16.09.2018)
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (viewed 16.09.2018)
Project Numbat - Community
Wikipedia Numbat, Sept 2018 (viewed 16.09.2018)