Tuesday, 17 April 2012 By: Jenny Vu

#14 The Australian Easter Bunny

Yesterday I went to the Sydney Royal Easter show and there was a tent for Featherdale Wildlife Park. There I learnt a horrible fact....that there was only about 400 Bilbies in the wild. This shocked me so much that it has inspired me to write about bilbies and how everyone can help with their conservation and protection from extinction.

Source: natureswonderland.com.au
The bilby is a native Australian animal which is endangered. There was once two species of bilbies but after the European colonisation of Australia, the lesser bilby became extinct by the 1950s. Now the greater bilby, the largest of the bandicoot family, is left but is still considered endangered. Of the six bandicoot species that once lived in Australia's arid lands, the blby is the only one left.

Bilbies are unique because of their large ears, which allows them to have excellent hearing, silky grey and white fur and a long, black and white crested tail. They also have a long pointed snout and a great sense of smell that helps them find food during the night as they are nocturnal. The bilby is also a marsupial, meaning the females have pouches where the young are carried until old enough to venture out for themselves.

Bilbies were once widespread in all states of Australia, however, due to habitat destruction and the introduction of rabbits, feral dogs and cats, the range of bilbies has decreased significantly. They can now only be found in parts of western Queensland and western and central Australia (as show in the picture below).
Source: www.savethebilbyfund.com

A lot of effort has gone into the conservation of bilbies however, it is still not enough. But you can help in a big way because every little effort counts.

In Australia, there has been campaigns to replace the easter bunny with the easter bilby as the bilby is a native Australian animal and by increasing public awareness and popularity of the bilby, efforts to save them would surely increase. There is also a national bilby day on the second sunday in september when fundraising for bilby conservation takes place.

To all my readers, Australian and international, you can all help with the conservation efforts to save the bilby from extinction. During easter time Darrell Lea, Australia's largest confectionery manufacturer and retailer, is the only place that sells chocolate bilbies anddonates funds to the 'Save the Bilby Fund'. A photo of these chocolates can be found below. Since they are still on sale now, I encourage you all to go and buy some in store or online at www.dlea.com.au. It's for a good cause!
Source: The Australian Bibly Appreciation Society
To find out other ways you can help and to learn more about bilbies, please visit these websites by clicking on the pictures:

Enjoy :)


Anonymous said...

Heh, those little bilby Easter chocolates are cute. :3

Jenny Vu said...

They are also very tasty :3

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