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SPECIES: Myrmecobius fasciatus — Numbat
Let’s see – where to begin. Numbats are just too cute and too quirky, there is simply too much to cover! Measuring around 40cm in length – and that’s including the cute bushy tail – and with a sticky tongue that rolls out to be roughly half the length of itself – Numbats can hoover around 20,000 termites in a day.
The stripes on a Numbat – much like a fingerprint – are unique to each individual. Numbats are the closest living relative to the now extinct Thylacine (or Tasmanian Tiger). They are one of only two Australian diurnal mammals (active during the day) and sadly, are confined to only two wild populations. The Numbat is the state faunal emblem of WA and even has its own ‘day’, World Numbat Day, celebrated on the first Saturday in November each year, promoting the plight of this iconic native mammal.
FAME have committed to work with the Numbat Task Force on an ongoing project, providing 20 radio collars to be fitted to numbats within Western Australia’s Wheatbelt and enable DNA testing of a collar should one of these individuals be lost to a predator. This project will also include monitoring on the numbats in the Dryandra woodlands where we have witnessed an increase in the population of numbats following our recent project. Visit www.fame.org.au to donate or find out more.
Photo: John Lawson