This week has seen desperate calls from wombat rescue organisations in Tasmania, to protect the local wombats, as reported by ABC.net.au.
The groups claim that many of the animals burrows are being destroyed in Northern Tasmania, resulting in many Wombats ‘disappearing’. The calls have come as many private landowners have been burning off gorse on their lands.
Wombat Rescue Tasmania say that a number of burrows were buried on some private land in the Kelso area, but was burnt out as part of land clearing operations. Many wombat remains were found burnt as a result, the group claim, with photos posted on social media.
Picture below courtesy of Wombat warriors Facebook. (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT)
Beatrice Mayne, the coordinator of the Wombat Rescue groups northern branch, said the area has been left devastated by the clearings.
"He's quite entitled to clear it, but I thought maybe he could leave a small patch down the front, because it was full of wombat burrows," she questioned.
"[They were] wombats that we had treated for the last year [for mange] and were responding really well. She added.
Beatrice also claimed the landowner bulldozed much of the land and claimed he obviously buried the wombat remains he found.
"He dozered the lot, and obviously buried them....We used to see 15 out at any given time, and now there are none.” She claimed.
"They've all just vanished overnight." she added.
The group have now called for extra protection for the wombats in the area and called for the Parks and Wildlife group to intervene.
"I'd like DPIPWE [Parks and Wildlife] to step in, and maybe give them some ideas about how they can get rid of gorse without having to bury the wombats," Ms Mayne said.
The rescue group admits that the farmers have every right to clear the land of gorse, but wish for more environmentally friendly methods, while they also plan to purchase land of their own in the future for the wombats.
"They've got a right to clear gorse — it's a notifiable weed — but it's just the manner that we object to," said Ms Mayne.
The DPIPWE released a statement recently, to say that the fires and wombat killings are in the midst of an inquiry. Though they warned that at the moment, there is insufficient that any wombats were killed by the landowner’s actions.
They say they have contacted the owner of the land and have given him information about the decline in wombat numbers. They also added that the methods used to remove gorse, were approved, with fire permits in order.