Numbat Youngsters

This coloured pencil sketch of two Numbat babies has been rendered from a photo by, and with permission from, John Lawson. Museum quality prints are available and it will also appear on cards.

Size:   fits an A4 frame or larger

Price:   Original $450   Giclee prints (archival quality) with coloured pencil overwork are available. A4 $120 and A3 $170. These can be posted to you.

The Numbat’s Story

The Numbat is unique among Australian mammals. It is a highly specialised, termite eating marsupial with an adult Numbat requiring up to 20,000 termites each day. As the sun rises and the day heats up, termites move in to a network of shallow tunnels and chambers just below the ground surface. Numbats detect the termites with their acute sense of smell, and use their front paws to scrape away the soil and expose them, before licking them up with their long tongue.

The name ‘Numbat’ comes from Aboriginal people in the York and Toodyay districts (east of Perth), and the name ‘Walpurti’ is used by desert language groups in parts of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Currently, numbats are only known to be surviving in a small area of WA’s Jarrah forest and Wheatbelt, notably at Dryandra Woodland and the Upper Warren area. They have been successfully reintroduced to other protected locations within the Jarrah forest and Wheatbelt, and to sites in South Australia and New South Wales. Numbats are threatened by loss of habitat through land clearing, fire and predation by feral predators including foxes and cats.

SCIENTIFIC NAME                  Myrmecobius fasciatus

CONSERVATION STATUS    Endangered

ESTIMATED POPULATION    up to 1,000

More information, including ways you can support the activities of WA conservators, can be found at http://www.numbat.org.au/  and through the Perth Zoo.