WORLD NUMBAT DAY
On the first Saturday in November, World Numbat Day shows appreciation for this amazing mammal. It’s also a day to encourage action to help conserve these endangered animals.
In case you’re wondering, a numbat is a small termite-eating marsupial that lives in Australia. It has a black and white striped back along with a bushy tail. A few other names for the numbat include the banded anteater, noombat, and walpurti. Its long, sticky tongue helps it capture underground termites. While numbats are considered marsupials, they don’t really have a pouch to carry their young. Instead, they have skinfolds that cover their babies while they drink milk from their mother.
More facts about numbats:
- Numbats communicate with one another with soft clicking noises.
- These small animals grow up to 12 inches long and weigh just over a pound.
- Its bushy tail is similar to that of an Eastern gray squirrel.
- Numbats have dull teeth as they don’t chew termites, only swallow them.
- Their diet consists only of termites, of which they eat 20,000 a day.
- They have been known to travel up to 20 miles per hour when threatened.
- Adult numbats live all by themselves but when they do come together, they are called a colony.
At one time, numbats could be seen across many parts of Australia. In the 1970s, however, the numbat population began a steady decline. Southwest Australia is the only place they survived. Today, numbats are endangered. Recent numbers suggest there are less than 1,000 numbats living in the wild. Their primary threats include fires, tree-clearing, and introduced predators.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldNumbatDay
Conservation groups in Australia hold events on this day that spread awareness for the plight of the numbat. These groups also raise funds for the research and protection of these animals. Zoos in Australia hold special exhibits featuring the numbat. To participate:
- Donate to an organization, such as Project Numbat, that helps to protect these endangered animals.
- Find pictures and videos online to see what a numbat looks like.
- Look up information on the only numbat breeding program in the world at the Perth Zoo.
- Read “Let’s Count – Ten Naughty Numbats” or “Nelly the Numbat” to your children.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldNumbatDay.
WORLD NUMBAT DAY HISTORY
Project Numbat held the first World Numbat Day on November 7th, 2015. It has been held on the first Saturday in November ever since.
5 November 2022
4 November 2023
2 November 2024
1 November 2025
7 November 2026
6 November 2027
4 November 2028
3 November 2029
2 November 2030
1 November 2031