National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is excited to reveal the addition of a new Greater Bilby joey, who takes the Sanctuary’s bilby family population count to seven in total.
Three months old and small enough to fit in one hand, this tiny, female marsupial’s adorable big ears have Wildlife Keepers, and anyone else who sees her, wrapped around her little finger.
The Greater Bilby is an endangered species native to central-western Queensland and the Northern Territory, though predation by feral cats and foxes has diminished their numbers enormously.
According Save the Bilby Fund, the Queensland population has surpassed the critically endangered threshold, with estimated only 400-600 Greater Bilbies left in the region.
National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary partners with Save the Bilby Fund, an organisation established in 1999, to help with spreading conservation awareness and managing captive breeding projects to help protect this distinctive marsupial from extinction.
The new joey is the product of successful breeding between two of the Sanctuary’s resident bilbies, Shiny (mother) and Jundah (father). Captive breeding of this species allows us to select genetically valuable individuals to breed, which promotes healthy joeys, and by extension, healthy bloodlines for future breeding and release back to the wild.
While the Sanctuary’s bilby program is modelled around breeding for release into the wild to boost population numbers, this latest addition will remain with the National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary family.
Wildlife Curator, Saskia Lafebre, explained that by implementing conservation efforts to protect the bilby, countless other lesser-known native species also reap the benefits of safeguarding measures.
“The bilby is really the flagship species for that environment,” Ms Lafebre said.
“Everything that helps protect the bilby also has a positive impact on the security of other native species, particularly the smaller ones that people might not know about, which are susceptible to similar threats like cats and foxes,” she said.
National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary always has a beautiful bilby on display in a special nocturnal enclosure within the Blinky Bill Tree Home and Slide precinct (see Park Map ref. 9).
For more information on how to give a helping hand to this iconic Australian species, head to Save the Bilby Fund and to our Bilby Adoption page! One detail you may not encounter however, is the fact that bilbies’ natural scent often smells similar to corn-chips! That’s right, they’re adorable, fluffy, big-eared, long-nosed, AND they smell like corn-chips – who wouldn’t want to save such an incredible animal!