Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson
Wombats are one of Tasmania’s most treasured native animals, but they need our help. The severe outbreak of wombat mange in 2010 has led to a likely extinction of the wombat population in Narawntapu National Park. Since then, this problem has become far more widespread.
Mange is cause by parasitic mite Sarcoptes Scabiei, which burrows into the wombat’s skin, resulting in severe itching, abnormal thickening of the skin, loss of fur, and – ultimately - painful death. Tasmania’s wombats are in trouble, and we need to act.
The Liberals have largely ignored the problem, only limiting licences to kill wombats in high infection areas.
We have released our plan to save Tasmania’s wombat populations and stop the spread of sarcoptic mange across the State. The Greens’ plan tackles wombat mange in the short, medium and long term.**
To save the species, Tasmania must immediately ban crop protection permits being granted to kill wombats. Our plan would also support establishment of wombat sanctuaries by providing $100,000 in grants for materials and infrastructure requirements.
The Greens would also increase Parks and Wildlife funding by $350,000 a year to improve rapid response capacity to disease outbreaks, and make $500,000 available to continue the wombat mange research and treatment field trials through the University of Tasmania.
We would provide $200,000 for research into the contributing causes of wombat mange outbreaks, and would investigate the feasibility of transmission barriers at outbreak sites.
Sarcoptic mange in wombats is a slow, debilitating, painful death, and we need to stop it in its tracks, while we still can. Tasmanians love our wombats, and we need to make sure their wild populations recover and are healthy into the future.