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Monday, June 14, 2010

Cute Spotlight: Bilby

The bilby is a vulnerable marsupial, indigenous to Australia. As they are a member of the bandicoot family, they are sometimes known as Rabbit-Eared Bandicoots. They are omnivores, eating a variety of fruits, insects, and seeds every night. They obtain nearly all of their water through their food and do not have to regularly drink. They have excellent hearing and smelling senses, but cannot see well. This serves them well though, as they spend most of their time in their burrows.

Through the 1980s and the early 1990s, bilbies were considered to be an endangered species, but since 1994, they have bumped their numbers up to the "vulnerable" level instead. The proliferation of rabbit populations throughout Australia has been a significant factor in bilby decline. Rabbits eat some similar foods as bilbies and live and burrow in similar areas. Foxes, dingos and feral cats are also threats to the bilbies, as are shrinking habitats and the danger of vehicles.

Save the Bilby campaigns and Easter Bilby advertising have brought this critter back from the brink of extinction. The Easter Bilby campaign has been established to raise awareness and appreciation of of the bilby. Because of the effort, bilby-shaped chocolates have become an Australian Easter staple, oftentime with chocolate bilby profits going towards the animal's conservation. Bilbies are still a protected animal all throughout Australia.

1 comment:

  1. never heard of these little fellas- and I thought bandicoot was a made-uo name for a video game !! Thanks for shedding some light on so many unusual creatures.