Danger of flooding

Flooding is probably the most common calamity that befalls wombat burrows; all of those dug on flat ground may be subject to it, and even where the ground is sloping and the drainage is good, some water usually gathers near the entrance after heavy rain. Following one very long wet

Figure 3.9 (a) The spade-like front claws thrust the soil backward, and the roots are pulled free or bitten off. (b) The wombat may lie partly on its side, legs still braced, scratching at the walls of the tunnel before (c) standing to eject the loosened soil.

spell, all but one of the seven burrows I was studying at the time had some water in them; two, on the lower bank of a creek were impassable, but others were still in use although water was in their entrance tunnels. Presumably these tunnels slanted upwards sufficiently to prevent the water from reaching the sleeping chambers. As soon as the water had seeped away there was an orgy of house-cleaning, as mud, sodden dead leaves, bark and fern fronds were scratched up and kicked out of most of the burrows that were in use at the time.

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