Nick has a 500-acre property backing onto a larger grassed property with permanent water and a National Park boundary. Flat country is ideal as a permanent release site.
Our second release pen shows that we are constantly learning as we go.
– Bigger, different design for roofed area to protect hay feed, and burrow entrance.
– Wombat flap so only released wombats come into pen (kangaroos and wallaroos kept eating feed with just an gate in place). Also a bit safer from other wombats, giving them a safe place. They need to be trained to use the flap before coming to the release pen. Make one up in a bit of fencing in a corner of their pen, put grass inside. Hold open to start and close when they’re used to accessing—they will learn.
– Shed roof collected drinking water for self feeder bowl.
– XLarge plastic dog kennel (kept in position tied to stake) with straw for extra wet times.
– Primary school fencing in bigger sections so they can see and smell other wombats and animals.
– Minimum of 9 m x 9 m.
– Mesh 30 cm outside 60 cm inside on ground all the way around. 6 m lengths from rural supplies at $30 each.
– Position to strap vertical a hail bail protected from weather for feed. Plus a feed bowl for Xtracool nuts with a drum with lid attached to fence outside. We feed nuts so that we can add medications.
– 2 bales of straw to pull apart and pull into burrows, dog kennel or for the wombats to burrow into when cold.
– Starter burrow, 3 m long covered slope in covered-in shed. Supported tin with dirt on top for insulation. Needs to be at least 40 cm deep.
– 4 to 5 wildlife data cameras on pen and nearby burrows.
April 2017, Elvis and Nikki (mum Harriette). Released well, moving into a burrows within 100 m of pen. Nikki had a joey out of pouch 9 months after arriving. Twelve months later Nikki can occasionally be seen on camera checking out the release pen, they have moved further away.
December 2017, Peal and Queenie. Both released well, and stayed together for some time before moving away. There is the odd wombat returning to the release pen occasionally. We are ensuring there is hay there at all times and nuts every few weeks so we’re getting images to check they are doing ok.
July 2018 Only the occasional visit to pen by released wombats and not consistently living in 3 nearby burrows.