Wombats are a welcome and important part of our natural environment.
While data suggests wombat numbers have increased State-wide, we also know the prevalence of wombat mange is unusually high in a localised area around the West Tamar, with a reduction in population in the Narawntapu National Park of 94% since 2010.
To continue to manage the population sustainably, three crop protection permits for wombats have been revoked in this area by the Hodgman Liberal Government.
This decision was made after consultation with both the TFGA and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Tasmania.
The West Tamar Zone is bounded by the Tamar, Meander and Rubicon rivers and no new permits will be issued in this zone until the local wombat population has recovered to a sustainable level.
While crop protection permits have been a mechanism available to farmers to control wombat numbers, the Government appreciates there is community concern about permits being issued in areas where wombats are suffering the effects of mange.
DPIPWE prioritises non-lethal measures and has tightened the process to ensure a crop protection permit for wombats is only considered as a method of last resort. Only four permits have been issued in 2017.
The Tasmanian Government has also announced a $100,000 program to conduct state-wide monitoring on the extent and prevalence of mange, undertake additional research and support community groups actively caring for affected wombats.
The Department will also work with the TFGA to support farmers on alternative options to manage the damage caused by wombats.