World Numbat Day Date in the current year: November 5, 2022

World Numbat Day Numbats may be less known among the general public than other marsupials, but it doesn’t mean that they they don’t deserve our attention and protection. World Numbat Day, celebrated annually on the first Saturday of November, was created to raise awareness of the endangered status of numbats and promote numbat conservation.

Numbats, also known as walpurti, are insectivorous marsupials that make up the genus Myrmecobius. Their relatives are other carnivores that belong to the order Dasyuromorphia, including dunnarts, Tasmanian devils, and quolls, but the numbat is not particularly closely related to other carnivorous marsupials. There is one extant species of the numbat, Myrmecobius fasciatus.

Although numbats are sometimes called marsupial anteaters or banded anteaters, they are not related to true anteaters that are native to Central and South America. Numbats are occasionally referred to as anteaters because their diet consists almost exclusively of termites. Like many animals that feed on ants or termites, numbats have a long, narrow and sticky tongue. An adult numbat has to eat up to 20,000 termites every day.

The numbat is currently restricted to a few small colonies in Western Australia, which makes it an endangered species, but it haven’t always been so. Before the arrival of Europeans, numbats inhabited woodland and semiarid habitats across southern Australia. Their population in most of their original range is believed to have been wiped out by the deliberate release of the red fox in the 19th century. According to estimates, there are fewer than a thousand numbats left in the wild.

Researchers believe that numbat colonies in Western Australia were able to survive because the areas they inhabit have many hollow logs, where numbats can hide from predators, which include birds of prey, raptors, and various invasive species such as feral cats and the above-mentioned red foxes.

Predators, both native and introduced, are the main threat that numbats face. Due to this, numbat conservation efforts focus on breeding numbats in captivity for release in the wild and reintroducing them to fenced reserves in New South Wales and South Australia, where they are safe from foxes and other predators.

The main objectives of the Numbat Recovery Program include population monitoring, habitat management, control of feral predators, awareness and education programs for the general public, and fundraising for numbat conservation efforts.

World Numbat Day was launched in 2015 by Project Numbat, an Australian community group that focuses on promoting awareness of the numbat and assisting the Numbat Recovery Program. Project Numbat and other Australian conservation groups hold World Numbat Day events to highlight the plight of the numbat and raise funds for numbat research and protection.

You can participate in World Numbat Day by learning more about these amazing animals, donating to Project Numbat or any other numbat conservation organization, and spreading awareness on social media using the hashtags #WorldNumbatDay and #NumbatDay.

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Category

International Observances, Ecological Observances

Tags

World Numbat Day, international observances, environmental observances, numbats, marsupials, numbat conservation