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The Bilby returns to NSW National Parks

Date: 22-May-19
Author: Liam Taylor

The Bilby has been locally extinct in NSW for over 100 years, but we could see them thriving in the near future. Image: Bernard Dupont/Flickr © Bernard Dupont/Flickr

The Bilby has been locally extinct in NSW for over 100 years, but we could see them thriving in the near future. Image: Bernard Dupont/Flickr

In a huge win for the iconic Australian marsupial, ecologists from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy have recorded the first Bilby born in a NSW national park in over 100 years.

The Bilby, once prevalent throughout the state, has been locally extinct in NSW for more than a century due to the combined impact of habitat loss and introduced predators such as cats. However in 2017, as part of the Saving our Species program, 60 animals were reintroduced to Pilliga National Park with the aim of establishing a healthy population.

The animals were translocated into a specially constructed fenced area within a wider 5,800-hectare feral predator-free zone, and have been monitored ever since through trapping, spotlighting and remote cameras. Earlier this month it became clear the Bilbies were thriving in their new environment when a new juvenile female was recorded, making it the first Bilby born in a NSW national park in at least 100 years. The last time the animals were seen in NSW was in 2012.

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has been working for decades to establish fenced safe-havens where Bilbies and other native mammal species are safe from feral predators such as cats and foxes. The organisation’s network of safe-havens now protects 15% of the total bilby population, with other native species also benefitting from the predator-free environment.

 

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.



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