|Numbats are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Red List of Threatened Species™ (version 2021-3)|
Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) – Endangered *
- A small, unique endangered marsupial animal native to parts of Australia. They are about 20–29cm long, plus a tail 12–21cm long.
- Also known as Walpurti or Banded Anteater, there is only an estimated population of fewer than 1000 individuals left in the wild.
- Numbats live in Eucalypt woodlands where old and fallen trees provide hollow logs for shelter, nest sites and foraging opportunities.
- Numbats are one of only two Australian marsupial which are strictly diurnal, which means they are only active during the day and their activity levels are closely linked to those of termites.
- They have a long sticky tongue (approx. 10–11cm long) that allows them pick up termites, which they eat exclusively. They eat many different species of termites, but they do not eat ants. They eat up to 20,000 termites a day. Numbats do not need to drink water because they get enough water from the termites they eat.
- Numbats rest in burrows either in hollow logs, trees or underground in chambers that can be 1–2 m long. They use shredded grass, bark, feathers, leaves and flowers to make a nest at the end of their burrow. They can climb logs and trees, using their long, sharp claws, to find shelter.
- Numbats rarely live for more than five years, and in the wild are under threat from habitat loss and introduced predators like foxes and feral cats.
- The Numbat used to be found across the southern part of Australia, including Western Australia, South Australia and parts of New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory. Now it is now restricted to isolated pockets of south-west Western Australia. Two natural populations remain.
About Project Numbat
Project Numbat is an incorporated community group that has been in operation since 2006.
The team promotes community awareness of the numbat and is involved in numbat conservation by assisting the Numbat Recovery Program, working with Perth Zoo, the Numbat Recovery Team and the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions. The Recovery Program objectives including:
- habitat management
- population monitoring
- feral predator control
- education and awareness programs
- fundraising for numbat conservation
[* current IUCN Red List Category]
(photos by Rob McLean, John Lawson & Project Numbat)
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This team and their vital work needs your help.
So what can you do to help?
… the answer is a great deal … and all of it would make a difference …
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