Plea for donors to help foot the bilby

Bush Heritage Australia and Save the Bilby Fund's Easter conservation efforts


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BILBIES NOT BUNNIES: Bush Heritage Australia is calling on people to buy gift cards to help protect the cute little marsupials this Easter. Photo: Bruce Thomson

BILBIES NOT BUNNIES: Bush Heritage Australia is calling on people to buy gift cards to help protect the cute little marsupials this Easter. Photo: Bruce Thomson

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Wildlife organisations are asking people to put bilbies over bunnies this Easter.

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THE bilby has become an enduring symbol of Easter in Australia and as the nation prepares for this year's holiday, Bush Heritage Australia is calling on people to help support and protect the real thing.

Once found across 70 per cent of Australia, the range of the adorable little marsupials has drastically shrunk.

Predators such as feral cats and foxes, competition with rabbits, land clearing and changes to traditional Aboriginal fire management are just some of the threats facing the species.

Bush Heritage is calling on people to support bilbies this Easter by purchasing a virtual gift card instead of an Easter egg.

Proceeds will go towards the organisation's ongoing conservation work with the Martu people in the Birriliburu Indigenous Protected area in Western Australia's Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts.

The Greater Bilby is the only remaining bilby species after the Lesser Bilby was declared extinct in the 1950s.

It is estimated that these days bilbies only inhabit around 15 per cent of Australia.

HOME SWEET HOME: One of six bilbies being released into the Currawinya bilby enclosure just before Easter.

HOME SWEET HOME: One of six bilbies being released into the Currawinya bilby enclosure just before Easter.

Meanwhile in Queensland, six bilbies have been released into the Currawinya bilby enclosure following a major upgrade to the area's predator exclusion fence.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the enclosure was established in 2002, but floods in 2011 and 2012 caused serious damage, allowing feral cats to get in and devastate the bilby population.

"The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $700,000 in repairing and upgrading the enclosure," she said.

"The fence around the enclosure has been redesigned so that it can withstand similar flood events in the future."

"Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and Save the Bilby Fund have worked together to remove all of the cats from within the enclosure, making it safe for the bilbies once more."

Ms Enoch said three further groups of bilbies would be released into the predator-proof enclosure over the coming months.

A bilby is released into the Currawinya bilby enclosure.

Save the Bilby Fund chief executive Kevin Bradley said the organisation had put in a lot of work in conjunction with the state government and Dreamworld to establish a safe place for the animals.

To purchase a gift card, click here. For more information on the Save the Bilby Fund, click here.

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