Mite-y funding to stop the spread of deadly wombat disease

Wombat by Lisa Ford

 

Frontline wildlife rehabilitators and eligible community groups are being supported to stop the spread of a deadly disease affecting wombats with $2.8 million in funding from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the funding will ultimately provide treatment to curb the spread of wombat mange in addition to research into the prevalence and ongoing treatment of the disease.

“This tiny mite is a huge problem for wombats, and mange can be life threatening if left untreated,” Mr Griffin said.

“Up to about 6% of wombats in NSW are affected by wombat mange, which is why we’re delivering a $2.8 million program, including the Curb Wombat Mange Treatment grants to help the species overcome the disease.

“This significant funding from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will support wildlife rehabilitators to administer lifesaving treatment for wombats in the wild.”

Wombat mange is a potentially deadly disease caused by mites that burrow into a wombat’s skin, causing itching and sores that can become infected, leaving wombats weak, malnourished and dehydrated.

NSW wildlife rehabilitation groups, eligible community groups and Aboriginal community organisations can apply for a grant to cover mange treatment costs, including purchasing approved pharmaceutical treatments, equipment to deliver the treatment (such as burrow flaps) and cameras to monitor movement at wombat burrows.

The $2.8 million was committed in the NSW Budget 2022-2023 and will be delivered through a 2-year program. The $2 million treatment grants will be administered by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW) and $500,000 in research grants will be administered by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

 

Applications for Wombat Mange Treatment grants can be made through FNPW. Wombat Mange Research grants are available through NPWS.