What’s killing our wombats?
Mange has killed more than half the wombats in a Tasmanian national park. This autumn, University of Tasmania wildlife ecologist Scott Carver will supervise Australia’s first attempt to treat an entire population for the disease, which causes a slow, painful death. Sarcoptic mange is caused by a microscopic mite and is thought to have been brought to Australia by European settlers and their animals, probably dogs. It affects wombats across Australia but has taken a particular hold in Narawntapu National Park near Shearwater and Bakers Beach, northwest of Launceston, where the easy-to-see wombats are a drawcard for visitors.