2018 was massive for the Fund as we move towards the reintroduction of bilbies behind the Bilby Fence in 2019. Your ongoing help is vital and deeply appreciated.
A species in crisis
Australia has the worst mammal extinction track record of any developed nation and this crisis continues. The bilby is on the verge of joining the disturbingly long list of unique Australian animals that no longer exist in the wild and without our assistance this could happen within our lifetime.
The bilby has been roaming the Australian landscape and contributing to our natural environment for over 15 million years. Once widely distributed across Australia, bilbies can now only be found sparsely scattered across 20% of their former range. Their numbers remain in decline as the threats from feral cats, foxes, rabbits and habitat change continue.
But they can be saved with your help
To save the bilby we need to maintain essential genetic diversity and continue to build up their numbers in safe and secure locations. This will provide insurance against the possibility of extinction in the wild and enable the re-introduction of bilbies into specially managed areas.
Without large numbers of safe and secure populations of bilbies, we are destined to lose the battle to save them.
The good news is that bilbies are a fast breeding animal and are superbly adapted to survival in our harsh outback. So their odds of recovery are exceedingly good, if only we give them that chance.
Our intensive bilby breeding program and crèche in Charleville
From the generous donations of the previous appeals, Save the Bilby Fund has been able to upgrade our bilby captive breeding facilities, built new crèche-ing pens, and we’ve already had several births with more on the way!
Approvals for bilby releases all granted
It’s official. After years of negotiation and planning and establishment and implementation of a carefully managed national breeding program, we have the final approvals for release.
Bilbies from satellite breeding colonies have been going to the Gold Coast for the Dreamworld vet to health check before their long journey to Charleville. They have tail transmitters being trialled during acclimatisation in our crèche so that we can monitor them when they make it to the Bilby Fence at Currawinya National Park for release.
Releases postponed until 2019
Early summer heat has been unprecedented and it has been unbelievably hot – too hot for our current crèche bilbies to start their new lives at Currawinya National Park. They need time to establish their burrows and feeding routines before the heat rises (usually Jan/Feb), but this early heatwave means we’ve missed our first release window. Bilbies are exceptionally well adapted to harsh conditions, but we must remember that these animals have been selectively bred in captivity and need time to adapt and acclimatise to life in the wild.
We need to expand our crèche holding capacity, stock up on food, do vet checks and we’re still actively and successfully breeding bilbies for future release.
This delay is the right decision in the best interests of our bilbies and to set this project up for success.
It’s going to be expensive to get through this next stage though. We can do it with your help!
Please DONATE NOW and help bring us closer to saving the bilby for ourselves and our future generations.
We rely on your generous support, as we don’t receive any recurrent government funding.
By donating you’ll be making a vital contribution to saving the bilby, not just for ourselves but also for future generations to enjoy. Our conservation achievements for the bilbies also benefit other animals facing similar threats in the wild.