The numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) is a small marsupial that was once found across most of Southern Australia. Sadly, since the 1970s, this small animal has been considered endangered. Today, the numbat population is restricted to a few isolated pockets in southwest Western Australia as well as two small reintroduced populations in New South Wales and South Australia.
For those who haven’t heard of or seen a numbat (which has also been called a walpurti or a banded anteater), this little creature resembles a small squirrel with a pointy nose and a less fluffy tail. One of the most interesting features of the numbat is its long tongue that is covered in sticky saliva to help them catch insects for dinner. Since the entire body of a numbat is only about 11 inches long (without the tail), having a tongue that is 4 inches long is rather remarkable!
Unfortunately, the numbat is under threat from habitat loss as well as predators such as foxes and feral cats. With an estimated population out in the wild of less than 1000, this tiny little species of animal faces the threat of extinction, and needs the help of humans to protect the future of this unique marsupial.
History of World Numbat Day
World Numbat Day was established as a day to celebrate Western Australia’s unique mammal icon and to encourage people to take action to conserve the species. The first World Numbat Day was initiated by Project Numbat Inc. and celebrated in 2015. The day has been an annual event ever since.
It is possible for people who live in Australia to help numbats by encouraging responsible pet ownership, spreading the word about the marsupial’s plight and never removing hollow logs from the bush. And even though the numbat is an animal that is only found “down under”, it’s certainly possible for people all over the globe to get involved with World Numbat Day!
Project Numbat Inc. is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers that promotes community awareness and involvement in the conservation of Western Australia’s unique mammal emblem. This charitable organization values its partnerships with the Numbat Recovery Team, Perth Zoo, Department of Parks and Wildlife and Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
How to Celebrate World Numbat Day
Show some appreciation for this delightful little creature and get to celebrating World Numbat Day! Consider some of these plans and ideas to get started:
Make a Donation to Save the Numbats
One super way to get involved in observing World Numbat Day might be to support the animal by making a donation to a charity that is helping to save them. In addition to Project Numbat Inc., it is also possible to show support for the numbat through the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) or the World Wildlife Federation Australia (WWF).
Share a Love for Numbats
Folks who have not visited Australia may be unaware of the plight of this little creature that acts as an icon. World Numbat Day is the ideal time to raise awareness for its plight and share information with friends, family members and others who might be interested in helping. Get involved with conservation efforts and show some support to this unique and interesting Australia marsupial.
Learn Interesting Facts About Numbats
World Numbat Day offers an ideal opportunity for humans all over the globe to become more knowledgeable about this fascinating animal! Check out some of these unique and special facts about the numbat and then share them with friends:
Numbats are one of the only marsupials that are not nocturnal. Since they are not bothered by the heat, they are happy to be out and about during the day.
Female numbats don’t have a pouch. While most marsupials have pouches, including kangaroos and koalas, the female numbat has skinfolds and long guard hairs that protect the babies while they nurse.
Numbats have more teeth than any other Australian marsupial. And they don’t even use them for eating! Instead, the numbat uses its teeth to move around material to build a nest.