It’s Hairy Nosed Wombat Day!

May 10, 2021by Olivia - F&F

It’s May 11th, so it’s time to wear your whiskers for Hairy-Nosed Day! This day is all about celebrating the adorable Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, but more importantly, shining a spotlight on some of the issues that they face as an endangered species.

Each year, The Wombat Foundation encourages schools and workplaces across Australia to celebrate Hairy-Nose Day by bringing awareness to the endangered iconic Australian species. It’s all in the effort to build a better future for our precious wombats and bring them back from the brink of extinction.  

Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can get involved on May 11th! 

About The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

I think we can all agree that the hairy-nosed wombat is pretty adorable. Weighing around 30-32kg, these stocky little mammals are characterised by their furry whiskers and pointy ears. The hairy-nosed wombat is the largest herbivorous burrowing mammal in the world. They generally eat native and introduced grasses, but the amazing thing is that they can live for up to 25 years!

The Hairy-Nosed Wombat’s burrow can reach 3.5m underground, but they really only leave during the night to graze on some grass. Despite their stocky bodies, the hairy-nosed wombat can actually reach an impressive speed of 40km/h!

Why is the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Endangered?

Sadly, the Hairy-Nosed Wombat is one of the most critically endangered species in the world In fact, there are more Giant Pandas and Sumatran Tigers left on the planet than the Hairy-Nosed Wombat. The burrowing mammals were once located all across Eastern Australia (NSW, VIC, QLD), but now they’re only found in a couple of locations in QLD. 

So, why have we seen such a decline in their population? Well, there are a few key reasons. 

Competition for food is a big one, especially with the massive growth of cattle and sheep grazing. We also know that droughts and bushfires have played a big factor in their demise, as well as predation by dingoes. As their population dwindles, they’re also at risk of more disease and the impacts of inbreeding

How You Can Get Involved On Hairy-Nosed Day

On May 11th, we’re encouraging everyone to get involved in Hairy-Nose Day! The Wombat Foundation have come up with some fun ways to get involved. To fundraise, you can:

  • Organise a “Make a Hairy-Nose” mask competition and send photos to The Wombat Foundation. This is such a great idea for primary school kids! 
  • Have a morning tea, afternoon tea, or after-work function. The key to success is making these delicious Hairy-Nosed Chocolate Truffles which can easily be made vegan!  
  • Organise a wombat caretaker or local wildlife rescue group to come in for a talk about wombats.
  • If you’re a teacher, you can introduce some fun activities to your class that will educate them about wombats. You can find activities and resources for teachers here! 
  • There's even a great book for kids called The Hairy Nosed Wombats Find A New Home by Jackie French.

Some Good News!

Before you go, we’d love to share some fabulous news with you! According to the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment & Science (DES), the number of Hairy-Nosed Wombats found in the wild has grown to over 300!

To put this into perspective, there were only 35 wombats found in Queensland in the 1980s. This is such a massive milestone for the endangered species, and it’s definitely worth celebrating. 

This success is a testament to Hairy-Nose Day and the efforts of The Wombat Foundation! You can read more about it here in this Australian Geographic article.  

If you’d like to donate, join or act to help save the Northern Hairy-Nose Wombat, visit The Wombat Foundation for more information. 


If you enjoy learning about Australia’s most iconic species, head to The Eco Hub for more!

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