Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania



30 June 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Research underscores wombat resilience in the quest to treat Sarcoptic mange

The Tasmanian Government is committed to supporting the University of Tasmania in its important research work to help find the best way to treat wombats afflicted by Sarcoptic mange in the wild.

DPIPWE has been undertaking research and monitoring since 2016 to assess the incidence and impact of mange on wombat populations across the state, and it was pleasing to see recent comments from Dr Scott Carver about current treatment efforts.

We continue to support the University’s trials, led by Dr Carver, of a systemic insecticide (Bravecto) to treat wombats with mange.

Early results are promising and we look forward to seeing the outcome of further research to determine the best and safest way to treat wombats in the wild.

It was also reaffirming to see Dr Carver’s assessment of DPIPWE’s spotlight wildlife population monitoring program as among the most robust wildlife monitoring run by any state government.

Sarcoptic mange occurs widely across the state and has done for many years. Overall, the average mange prevalence is less than 5 per cent. These numbers will likely change, both upwards and downwards, as more information is gathered.

DPIPWE currently provides the most comprehensive information and advice on mange of any jurisdiction in Australia. That information is being shared with mainland counterparts through the Wombat Mange National Coordination Team, a collaboration between experts from several states.

While outbreaks of mange do occur, the most recent population monitoring data shows that, overall, wombats have increased in numbers over the past 35 years and they are not at risk of becoming threatened.

We acknowledge the concern of community members who also do not like to see our wildlife affected by disease, and we thank the volunteers for their commitment to the important role they play in assisting wildlife.

More information on wombats and mange, including how to report mange-affected wombats, is at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wombats



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