A third rescue habitat is required to save the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat

now to an ongoing battle to save an

Australian animal that's been teetering

on the brink of extinction for decades

the northern hairy-nosed wombat once

lived in a range almost the length of

Australia but today it's holding on in

just two queensland locations experts

say a third home must be found if it's

future is to be assured dave harper

heads a team that's caring for an animal

they rarely get to see in the wild

that's a great job it's an opportunity

to work with really beautiful species

and to do something good for the

environment the critically endangered

northern hairy-nosed wombat is shy

elusive and mostly nocturnal and that

means it remains something of a mystery

even to the wildlife officers and

volunteers working to bring it back from

the brink of extinction it lives

underground and he pops out at night and

leaves all this little tantalizing clues

about what it does leaves these gorgeous

little footprints walking along and we

really don't ever see it except on the

cameras the wombats were thought to be

extinct until a tiny population was

found in what is now Epping Forest

National Park in central Queensland by

the 1980s there were just 35 left and

with just one group The Wombats were

risk of fire flood disease or predators

some sort of disaster could have wiped

that population out it's now 10 years

since the second more southern refuge

was founded near st. George after local

land holders offered up 130 hectares a

small group of wombats moved in and this

year a new arrival was cause for

celebration we now the Joey which is a

great sign for this side it just says

that you know you provide the right

habitat and these guys will do the thing

they need to do and a lot of it you know

the wombats have well and truly settled

in it's a huge achievement but the

researchers now want to find a spot for

a third and larger refuge for the

growing population but it's not easy to

find an arm the wombats need a large

area with a special

type of soil and the right kind of

habitat and the researchers say it also

needs to be south of the original

population as insurance against climate

change it's extremely important like

it's it's really the next step for this

species and it's something that we needs

to happen if we want to feel comfortable

about securing their future across the

two sides there are now about 250

northern hairy-nosed --is and with more

babies likely next year it won't be long

before these growing families need a

bigger home cathy McLeish ABC News