Bendeela wombat trial offers new hope of mange treatment

Bendeela wombat trial offers new hope of mange treatment

26 April 2022

New trials of a potential treatment method for mange-afflicted wombats in the Bendeela recreation area near Kangaroo valley commence this week.

In what is believed to be a first for NSW, the population-level trial will be conducted in conjunction with the University of Tasmania, after extensive study into the problem.
WaterNSW manages Bendeela recreation area, including a popular campground on the banks of the Kangaroo River near Tallowa Dam, approximately 150km south of Sydney. Sarcoptic mange is a condition caused by a mite and is commonly spread in animals.
Studies indicate that about 3% of the 250-300 wombats at Bendeela show signs of mange, a condition that makes the wombat scratch so much that they lose fur and develop sores to the skin, eyes and ears.
The Bendeela wombat treatment project, led by Dr Scott Carver from the University of Tasmania, seeks to identify a long-term sustainable treatment program.
WaterNSW is part-funding the current three-year phase of the project, along with additional resourcing from the Australian Research Council.
In the lead up to the current trial, the University of Tasmania teamed up with the University of Sydney, for baseline work such as dosage testing and population surveys, including nocturnal monitoring.
WaterNSW executive manager assets, Ronan Magaharan, said the next phase of the trial was an exciting development in a long progress to identify a suitable treatment option.
“As asset managers with an obligation for animal welfare on our property, WaterNSW has worked with the local community, and the science community to try and find what we hope is a viable solution to a very challenging, long-term problem,” he said.
“WaterNSW has consulted with National Parks and Wildlife Service as joint managers of the area, and they are supportive of our approach to finding a longer-term, management solution that is safe and ethical for the treatment of these animals.”
NSW Minister for Water, Kevin Anderson, welcomed the new development and commended WaterNSW for its commitment to searching for a solution.
“Bendeela is a hugely popular recreational area that attracts large numbers of visitors every holiday period. This has been an unfortunate problem in the wombat population that has at times caught the attention of visitors and the local community alike.
“WaterNSW is well-recognised as a dam manager, but this organisation also manages large areas of the drinking water catchment across the Greater Sydney area, and this collaboration with other scientific bodies reflects well on their role as responsible environmental custodians.”
For more information on WaterNSW visit www.waternsw.com.au.
Media Contact – Tony Webber 0428 613 478 or Angela Davies 0467 947 426

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