Sarcoptic mange is a mite that burrows under the skin causing immense irritation. Every single wombat that has mange, will die unless treated. The mite is believed to be introduced to Australia via the European Red Fox however there is no doubt in our minds that wombats succumb to mange only when stressed. We see plenty of healthy wombats sharing burrows with infected wombats. The stressors can be from extreme weather patterns, heat/drought/floods or even a new dominant wombat.
WAO began helping wombats with mange in 2008.
Not a lot of treatment of Sarcoptic mange was undertaken in the Southern Hairy-noses wombats prior to this and the only guidelines available were those for the Bare-nosed wombats.
In 2010, WAO in conjunction with the Wombat Protection Society of Australia and funded by the Foundation of National Parks and Wildlife expanded on trials undertaken on the Bare-nosed Wombat by utilising plastic self treatment flaps on the entrance of the burrows. Within the flap is a cap filled with an anti-parasitic which allows the wombat to be treated as they leave their burrow.
The trial was quite successful although this species of wombat appears to be more sensitive to antiparasitics than their cousins. Due to the drastic decline of the wombat populations, there are too many burrow entrances per wombat and an overdose is imminent. WAO has had no choice but to bring infected wombats into care to give them the best chance of survival.