Wombat Mange

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Wombat mange at a glance

  • Sarcoptic mange (caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei) has affected Tasmanian wombats since it was introduced by Europeans and their domestic animals during colonisation and now occurs widely across Tasmania.

  • Mange causes significant health and welfare impacts for individual wombats.

  • Research shows that in most areas of Tasmania the proportion of wombats that are visibly affected by mange is low (less than 5%) but localised outbreaks can occur with a higher proportion of wombats visibly affected.

  • Wombat numbers in Tasmania have increased over the last 35 years.

  • Tasmania's wombats are not at risk of becoming endangered or extinct.

  • Wombats develop skin irritations for reasons other than mange including digging, fighting, mating, vegetation and fungal infections.

  • There is no effective method to eradicate mange from the wild. However, research between NRE Tas and the University of Tasmania is ongoing.  Preliminary results from these trials are promising and further research is underway to determine the best and safest way to treat wombats in the wild.

  • Treatment methods are available using products called Fluralaner (Bravecto®) or Moxidectin (Cydectin®).

  • Bravecto® has been approved for use on Wombats by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority.  Veterinary authorisation is required to treat Wombats with this product.  A permit from NRE Tas may also be required depending on the method of treatment administration.

  • Cydectin®​ has been approved for use on Wombats by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority.  Authorisation from APVMA is required to use this products on Wombats.  A permit from NRE Tas may also be required depending on the method of treatment administration.  

These points have been covered in more detail on the page below, and on the frequently asked questions and monitoring data​ pages. There is also a wombat mange information sheet available:​

  Wombat Mange Information Sheet   (262Kb)

Strategies to mitigate effects

NRE Tas is working with the University of Tasmania and the local community to better understand the causes that lead to mange outbreaks. We are also working to develop better treatment options for wild wombats affected by mange.

Specific actions that have been undertaken by NRE Tas relating to wombat status include:

  • Analysis of Statewide and regional wombat population trends using the past 35 years of spotlight survey data

  • Surveys to assess the distribution and prevalence of mange-affected wombats in Tasmania​

  • ​Several research projects conducted by UTAS under permits provided by NRE Tas

  • Assisting the public by providing advice on managing mange-affected wombats

  • Working with the community to ensure that treatments are properly dispensed and documented to assess effectiveness

  • Allocation of funds for distribution to community groups and individuals involved in the treatment of mange-affected wombats

  • Allocation of funds to support research and monitoring

​​How can I help?​

There are many ways you can help:

  • Report observations of injured wombats or wombats with mange to NRE Tas

  • Treat mange affected Wombats in your area - Contact NRE Tas

  • Drive carefully in areas where wombats may be present to reduce the number of wombats killed or injured by cars

  • Use non-lethal methods to manage wombats on agricultural land, including “wombat gates” to allow their passage through fences, while excluding wallabies from grazing on pastures and crops

  • Prevent dogs from roaming in areas where wombats occur

​​​​​​If you would like information material about mange to display and hand out we have the following resources available:

  Wombat Mange A3 Poster   (208Kb)

  Wombat Mange Information Sheet   (262Kb)

  Wombat Gate Use Synopsis   (180Kb) 

Treating mange-affected​ wom​​bats

If you would like to treat a mange-affected wombat in your area, please contact NRE Tas for advice before commencing treatment.

NRE Tas staff can then assess:

  • Whether the wombat you want to treat has mange or not - providing images of the wombat is very helpful to assess this

  • An appropriate treatment method

  • Whether or not the Wombat is already being responded to

  • What permits will be required and how to obtain permits

  • How to contact experienced carers

If you have experience in treating wombats for mange and wish to apply for a permit to use the pole and scoop method, please contact Wildlife Services.

 Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit - Treat Wombats Affected by Mange (PDF 250Kb)

 Wombat Mange Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF 495Kb)​

Please note: using sulphur compounds, including lime sulphur and yellow powdered sulphur, are not considered suitable as a treatment for mange in wombats. Veterinary advice on the recommended treatment​ is detailed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

​Other information sour​​ces

Wildlife Health Australia Fact Sheet: Sarcoptic Mange in Australian wildlife (2021)  

​​​Training Resources​

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service ​has collaborated with Associate Professor Scott Carver from the University of Tasmania and Versatile Vets to develop a series of 6 short videos on treating wombats with mange. These videos are an excellent training resource for persons permitted to treat womabt mange.  The videos are available here and cover the following topics:

  • ​Use of a pole and scoop​

  • Use of a modified jab stick

  • Setting up a burrow flap

  • Setting up a burrow camera

  • Mange-scoring a wombat

  • Body condition scoring wombats


Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
Hobart, TAS, 7001.