Endangered native animal in Australia.
Lumix DMC ZRI
Dedicated to all those who raise funds to save this special little animal.
The Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) is on the endangered list, the Lesser Bilby (Macrotis leucura) is believed to be extinct.
The Greater Bilby, usually referred to as the Bilby, is the largest of the bandicoots, measuring up to 55cm in length (body only) with a tail up to 29cm long. Adult males weigh up to 2.5 kg and females about half that.
Bilbies are also known as Rabbit-Eared Bandicoots.
They are marsupials. The pouch opens backwards so as not to be filled with dirt while digging.
The word Bilby is from Yuwaalaraay, an Aboriginal language (source: The Australian National University).
Bilby fur is very soft. It is mainly blue-grey, with some fawn. The belly is white and the tail is black with a white crest at the end and a naked spur-like tip.
The large ears of the Bilby are almost hairless. As well as providing great hearing, they are believed to help keep the Bilby cool.
The long snout, which is pink and hairless at the tip, gives the Bilby an excellent sense of smell.
Bilbies have poor eyesight, so it is just as well their hearing and smelling senses are so good.
The Bilby’s strong forelimbs with their long claws make them brilliant burrowers.
Bilbies live in spiraling burrows which they dig up to 2 metres deep. A Bilby may have up to a dozen burrows.
The Bilby is truly nocturnal. They don’t emerge from their burrows until at least an hour after dusk, and retreat at least an hour before dawn. A full moon, strong wind or heavy rain can keep Bilbies in their burrows all night.
Bilbies are omnivorous. Some of the things they eat include: seeds, spiders, insects and their larvae, bulbs, fruit, fungi and small animals.
The Bilby (like the koala) doesn’t drink water, it gets all it needs from its food.
Bilbies breed all year round. Their gestation period is only 12 to14 days and young, between one and three in a litter, remain in the pouch for 75 to 80 days, and are independent about 2 weeks later.
The Bilby was chosen by the Commonwealth of Australia Endangered Species Program as a mascot representing all endangered species.
To raise public awareness of endangered Australian species a campaign has been launched to replace the Easter bunny with the Bilby, hence we now have the Easter Bilby and Chocolate Bilbies!
So if you ever see a chocolate Bilby please buy one and help save this precious little animal.