Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Greater Bilbies Return to the Wild in New South Wales

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 24, 2020 3:45 pm

greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo

A greater bilby from the breeding group at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Greater bilbies have returned to the wild in Sturt National Park in Australia as part of the Wild Deserts Project. The species has been extinct in the area for over a century.

The release site is a 2,000ha (4,942 acres) fenced reserve from which introduced predators such as the red fox and feral cat have been removed.

The bilbies which were released in to the park were bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales (NSW).

Matt Kean, NSW Environment Minister said, ““This is one of the country’s most important threatened species initiatives. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world but we are turning back the tide of extinctions, reintroducing at least 13 mammal species currently listed as extinct in NSW by establishing a network of feral cat and fox-free areas,” Mr Kean said.

greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo

A greater bilby receives a health check at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

“With an estimated 9,000 bilbies left in Australia, the Wild Deserts project at Sturt National Park is planned to increase the population by 17 per cent,” added Kean.

The release is part of a partnership between UNSW ecologists, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Taronga Conservation Society Australia under the leadership of the NSW government. Three predator proof reserves are being created as part of the initiative.

“In these feral-free areas, we are turning back time by restoring the Australian bush to what it should be – alive with small mammals such as the bilby.”

greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo
greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo

A bilby being released in to the Wild Deserts reserve

Photo Credit: Bobby-Jo Photograph

National Parks and Wildlife Deputy Secretary, Atticus Fleming AM said, “Our small-medium sized mammals have suffered catastrophic declines in the last 200 years, driven by feral cats which kill 1.4 billion native animals every year.”

“Creating large feral cat-free areas with conservation fencing will save species from extinction and help restore populations until we find an effective strategy for removing feral cats from the Australian bush,” finished Fleming.

At Sturt National Park the bilbies will begin the recovery of the desert. In the future they will be joined by stick-nest rats, western barred bandicoots, golden bandicoots and eastern quolls.

greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo

A bilby is released in to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo reserve

Photo Credit: Rick Stevens/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

-- AD --

The release is a major achievement for Taronga Conservation Society which only begun its greater bilby breeding program 11 months ago.

CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia Cameron Kerr said, ““To be able to release Greater Bilbies just 11 months after the program commenced in Dubbo is a true testament to the unique combination of skills across animal husbandry, genetics and conservation management at Taronga.”

Prior to their release the bilbies were cared for by a specialist team at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and vets gave them a health check at the zoos wildlife hospital. After their release they will be monitored by scientists through radio tracking.

greater bilby release taronga western plains zoo

A bilby being released in to the Wild Deserts reserve

Photo Credit: Bobby Jo Photography

Learn more about greater bilbies here – Greater Bilby Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Taronga Western Plains Zoo on their website – Taronga Western Plains Zoo

giraffe reid park zoo

Two New Giraffes Join the Herd at Reid Park Zoo 

Zoo Miami halloween

Zoo Miami Animals Explore Tricks and Treats for Halloween 

twycross zoo national pumpkin day

Twycross Zoo Animals Celebrate National Pumpkin Day 

We're Social. Follow Us

We share awesome animal photos daily

Featured Animal

little penguin
Koala

Join Our Mailing List to Get Daily Animal Profiles & Animal News Delivered to Your Mailbox.

Share this:

Share via
Copy link