As it would turn out recently in 2019 we discovered that Australia has in fact, has 3 species of Common Wombats. also known as the Short Haired Wombat, or the Bare Nosed Wombat. Which is rather embarrassing as anyone would almost complain that we should have known by now. However, the reasons behind their discovery are much more complex.
The 3 wombats were discovered over the distance of the Bass Streight towards Tasmania. Featuring as of now; The Tasmanian Wombat, The Bass Streight Wombat, and The Australian Mainland: Bare Nosed Wombat. In Comparison, the only other previously known species was the Hairy-Nosed Wombat, which lives in Northern NSW and QLD.
The Tasmanian Wombat is much similar to those on the mainland and is only a bit smaller in adult size. However, it is unable to breed with wombats from the mainland. Notably it also carries a bit more fur to deal with the temperamental climate coming off the Antarctic.
The Bass Streight Wombat is the smallest of the 3. Originally the research found that it was related to the wombats from the Flinders Islands like all other common wombats. This discovery is very important as these small islands only have a very small population. The way we manage and protect these wombats as a result of this new knowledge, is now a subject of conservation and environmental protection.
The Bare Nosed, Common Wombat of the Australian Mainland is the largest of the 3 species. This is the most common species of wombat in Australia. Simply due to the size of the mainland.
These changes, are believed to be the product of geographic isolation over millions of years. These species are all related by DNA; however, they are all diffrent species and are unable to breed and produce offspring. The key finding in this study is again the oddity and unexpected discovery of wombat speciation in the Tasman Streight. More, that the study and inquiry into the field of Australian wildlife is still ongoing.