Why are Numbats Endangered? - Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Some animals, like dogs and cats, can be found everywhere. Other animals are not quite so numerous. Still, other animals are in danger of no longer existing. In this lesson, you will learn about why the numbat is one of these endangered animals.

In Danger

What did one numbat say to the other?

'I'm putting you on the endangered species list because you're one of a kind!'

Sadly, this isn't just a joke for the numbat. Numbats are an animal that is currently endangered. Being endangered means that the numbat is 'in danger' of becoming extinct or not existing anymore. There truly could be 'one' numbat of its 'kind' left very soon.


Currently, there are less than 1,000 of the small mammals in the world. All numbats living in the wild are found on the Australian continent. They used to be all over Southern Australia; however, they are now only found in two small areas in the southwestern part of the continent.

So why are these animals endangered? Let's find out!

Disappearing Homes

A home is important to us because it gives us shelter and a place to rest safely. Think about your comfy bedroom or cozy kitchen. The numbat is no different because its home is important to its survival. Numbats make their homes in fallen trees and logs on the forest floor where termites are plentiful. They don't like really cold or really hot weather, so they retreat to their homes when the weather isn't comfortable for them. Additionally, when threatened by another animal, the numbat will hide out in its home until it is safe to come out.

Unfortunately, the numbat's home is disappearing and people are responsible. Imagine if a bulldozer drove right into your house and crushed it. You'd be pretty upset! Sadly, this is exactly what is happening to the numbat's home.

Deforestation is occurring where forests are being cut down and cleared to make room for homes, farmland, and mining. When the land is cleared, the numbats have no place to live and no food supply of termites, so they die.


Even if the land remains untouched, numbats are also threatened by forest fires, which can burn up the trees and result in the numbat losing its home as well.

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