Find out more about these cute Australian animals called bilbies, and why we’d like to see more bilbies than bunnies at Easter time.
What is a bilby?
The Greater Bilby is a nocturnal marsupial with a silky light grey and white coat, and a distinct long black and white crested tail with a spur-like tip. They have large hairless ears and a long snout.
Australia has two species of Bibly – the Greater Bilby and The Lesser Bily (believed to be already extinct).
Where can you find bilbies?
Bilbies can be found in small areas of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South West Queensland.
The bilby population has declined due to these factors:
- the introduction of predators like feral cats and the European Red Fox
- Farming animals (sheep and cattle) destroy their habitat
- Competition from the introduced European rabbit (for burrows and food).
- Fire and habitat clearing
Where can I see a bilby?
You can book a unique and educational Bilby Experience in Charleville, Queensland.
Meeting this delightful marsupial is a highlight for many visitors who come to Charleville. Captive bred in Charleville to ensure the survival of the species, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the survival, habits and habitat of the endangered Bilby.
Address: Warrego Highway, Charleville QLD 4470
Cost: Fees apply and bookings are essential
Hours: Nightly tours April to October 7.00 pm.
Phone: (07) 4654 4717 (ask for the Save the Bilby Fund)
For tour bookings, please contact Charleville Visitor Information Centre (07) 4654 7771
Are bilbies endangered?
Before European settlement, The Greater Bilby could be found in 70% of Australia. However, 90% of this population has been lost.
The Greater Bilby is listed as Endangered in Queensland and vulnerable Australia-wide.
The Bilby is listed as Vulnerable under The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Where do bilbies live?
Bilbies live in grasslands and mulga scrublands in hot, dry arid and semi-arid areas of Australia. Think temperatures over 45 degrees C in summer. They make their home in spiralling burrows which they dig up to 2 metres deep and 3 metres long.
What do bilbies eat?
Bilbies are omnivores, which means they eat bulbs, fruit, seeds, fungi, insects, worms, termites, small lizards and spiders.
When purchasing your chocolates this year, please consider buying a bilby from a company that helps raise money for the Save the Bilby Fund. Look out for Darrell Lea Bilby or others.
Save the Bilby Fund
Charleville is home to the captive breeding program “Save the Bilby Fund”. The program is operated by the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency and releases captive-bred bilbies into a fenced wild enclosure within the Currawinya National Park.
Image Credit: Sean Scott/Tourism and Events Queensland
Image Credit: Matthew Taylor/Tourism and Events Queensland