By Trish Bowman
Emu Park-based endangered wildlife poet Anthony Lovell continues his bid to promote the endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat as the mascot for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
Anthony said he created a character, Wanda the Time-Wandering (NHN) Wombat, to support other conservation initiatives to keep the population of this critically endangered species growing.
“I always wanted to write, and as a child, as a teenager, I wanted to be a zoologist,” Anthony said.
“I trained as a journalist and pursued a career in economic development and private enterprise.
“Now I use my writing skills creatively to raise awareness and support for the conservation of our endangered species, the protection and regeneration of biodiversity, and on how we, as homo sapiens, we can shape the future for better or for worse.
“I can’t think of a better way to improve the plight of the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat than to have him named mascot for future games.
“It’s so important that people become aware of wombats and other endangered species.
“The more people who join the wombat team, the better chance we have of saving this incredible animal from extinction.”
Anthony said that through the art of poetry he wants to challenge people to do whatever it takes to conserve the species we still have, especially focusing on critically endangered species d extinction, their habitats and the wonders of nature.
“I want to use my work to encourage people to create a sanctuary for life on earth, first in their own hearts and minds, and from this sacred place to push its boundaries to the edge of the biosphere,” he said. -he declares.
“We must primarily see homo sapiens as part of and dependent on nature, not as a separate part.
“We have to live and be wise, and start sharing the planet with other life forms and living within its ecological limits.”
The Wombat Foundation said that in the 1970s, there were only 35 northern hairy-nosed wombats left on the planet.
The foundation helps save these beautiful and elusive wombats which are the largest herbivorous burrowing mammals in the world.
Thanks to the support and establishment of a shelter, there are now 315 northern hairy-nosed wombats.
The species has been recorded as living in central Queensland, the Moonie River region and Deniliquin.
Competition for food with introduced species (cattle, sheep, and rabbits) is thought to be the main cause of the decline in wombat numbers.
In the 1970s, the only remaining population was in central Queensland in Epping Forest National Park.
Wombat numbers continued to decline, and in the early 1980s a fence was erected to prevent cattle incursions into the park.
Improved conservation measures led to growth in numbers, but predation continued to be a problem with 10% of the population killed in wild dog attacks in 2000-2001.
Since the erection of a predator-proof fence and the provision of additional feed and water, their numbers have increased dramatically.
The foundation continues to work with the northern hairy-nosed wombat and other species to ensure their survival.
Anthony is rallying support for his Olympic Games mascot bid and encouraging others to do the same.
He said he will contact state and federal members to further the cause.
To read Anthony’s Tongue in Cheek poem for ‘Team Wombat’ go to https://www.theonemillionpoetry.com/blog/five-ringed-wombat
For more information on the northern hairy-nosed wombat, see the Wombat Foundation website online.