Taronga Partners With AWC For Greater Bilby Conservation

It is an extremely bitter pill to swallow but Australia’s track record when it comes to conservation is terrible. The country has the worst extinction rate for mammals in the world and many of those species that do remain are listed as threatened. One such species is The Greater Bilby. Bilbies used to roam freely throughout Australia occupying as much as 70 per cent of the country but have now disappeared from over 80 per cent of their traditional habitat. In order to combat this terrible decline, Taronga Conservation Society Australia has partnered with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).

Establishing sanctuaries

The main threat to the population of Bilbies in Australia is predation by species that have been introduced such as feral cats and fixes. AWC seeks to either acquire land or establish partnerships with landholders for the purpose of setting up sanctuaries where threatened wildlife are protected. AWC has had enormous success reintroducing Bilbies into these sanctuaries. Currently AWC protects approximately 20 per cent of the Breater Bilby population at its two wildlife sanctuaries in NSW and South Australia.

Labour intensive

Maintaining a conservation fence is a task that requires lots of resources. At AWC’s Scotia Sanctuary the fence measures 56 kilometres long and is patrolled once every 48 hours. When you add all that patrolling up that is 10,200 kilometres of fence every year. Aside from the maintenance of the fence and regular checks, feral animal control was conducted beyond the fenced predator free area. Over the last year, 10 feral cats, 37 foxes and 170 were taken away from the area which goes a long way to maintain the safety of the Bilby conservation.

Taronga celebrates the birth of two females

Taronga is participating in Bilby conservation by contributing towards the Bilby breeding program. Last year, Taronga celebrated its first ever success at Bilby breeding with the arrival of 2 female joeys which was a great result for Bilby conservation.

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