The Numbat is Western Australia's emblem, a fact which may save the species from extinction. The Numbats were endangered a few years ago but CALM researches have established new populations and given greater protection from their enemies. Numbats are active during the day and in a few areas where they are found these delightful creatures are now seen more often.
These termite eaters can be recognised by their slender, graceful bodies, which are banded and usually reddish-brown. their long bushy tails resembles a bottle brush. Numbats have a long, pointed snout used to extract termites from the soil and the dark stripes across their eyes. Adults are about 42 cm long and a male Numbat weighs up to 550-700 grams and a female weighs up to 450-650 grams. It is difficult to mistake them from anything else, because of their distinctive appearance and because no other mammal their size are active during the day.
The young are born January\ February and become independent for themselves in November. The baby numbats are usually 1 cm in size at birth. The Numbat usually has a litter of up to four.
When foxes and cats were introduced to Australia they proved disastrous as they were unfamiliar and efficient predators. Foxes were first introduced in Melbourne in the early 1860's, they reached Perth by the 1920's. Feral cats were introduced in Australia hundreds of years ago.
Like so much of Australia's wildlife, the Numbat population declined soon after European settlement. As is shown below, the Numbat occurred across much of southern Australia in1850 but is now found in less than 1% of its former range.
Scientist used radio-tracking equipment and learnt much about when and where they feed, where they shelter, how much space each Numbat needs and so on. They also learnt that, even at Dryandra, foxes are the bane of the Numbat's Life