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The return of the Bilby to National Park marks a significant outcome for Australian Wildlife Conservancy

The return of the Bilby to National Park marks a significant outcome for Australian Wildlife Conservancy
December 7, 2018

For the first time in more than a century, bilbies are now running wild in a NSW conservation area. Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said 30 of the small marsupials have been released in a specially fenced, predator-free section of Pilliga State Conservation Area, near Narrabri.

"The bilbies are the first of 13 regionally extinct mammals that will be returned to the wild in a 10-year NSW Government Saving Our Species project," Minister Upton said.

"The return of the bilby is internationally significant: this is a major victory in the campaign to save our species from extinction," she said.

"Bilbies are an iconic Australian native animal and with their long ears, have become our own beloved symbol of Easter.

"They disappeared in the wild in NSW in around 1910 as a result of introduced predators including foxes and cats.

"To have them back in our national parks is a magnificent sight to see and a clear innovative step by this government, towards securing populations of threatened species.

"The bilbies are just the first of the mammal species to be reintroduced to select national parks in Western NSW under the $42.1 million project, with bridled nail-tail wallabies, brush-tailed bettongs and numbats among the species to follow.

"The bilbies are being housed within 32 kilometres of predator-proof fence encompassing 5800 hectares in Pilliga State Conservation Area.

The Pilliga project is being carried out by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in a partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).

AWC Chief Executive Tim Allard said the return of the bilby to the Pilliga is a spectacular outcome not just for the bilby, but also for Conservation.

"Within a short space of time, AWC's Ecologists and Land Managers constructed the 32 kilometre fence, eradicated feral predators, and have successfully reintroduced the bilby.

This fenced area will also provides a secure environment for another 5 species, including the Bridled nail-tail wallaby, as well as many extant species such as the Pilliga mouse and bird species.

"The aim is that the Pilliga will return to what it was like 200 years ago, before feral predators took their toll.

This project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by Government and Not-for-Profits working in partnership and is an example of AWCs model in action – innovative land management informed by good science," Allard said.

"The bilbies are just the first of the mammal species to be reintroduced to select national parks in Western NSW under the $42.1 million project, with bridled nail-tail wallabies, brush-tailed bettongs and numbats among the species to follow.

"The bilbies are being housed within 32 kilometres of predator-proof fence encompassing 5800 hectares in Pilliga State Conservation Area.

The Pilliga project is being carried out by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in a partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).

AWC Chief Executive Tim Allard said the return of the bilby to the Pilliga is a spectacular outcome not just for the bilby, but also for Conservation.

"Within a short space of time, AWC's Ecologists and Land Managers constructed the 32 kilometre fence, eradicated feral predators, and have successfully reintroduced the bilby.

This fenced area will also provides a secure environment for another 5 species, including the Bridled nail-tail wallaby, as well as many extant species such as the Pilliga mouse and bird species.

"The aim is that the Pilliga will return to what it was like 200 years ago, before feral predators took their toll.

This project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by Government and Not-for-Profits working in partnership and is an example of AWCs model in action – innovative land management informed by good science," Allard said.

Related Articles

21st September 2017 - Western Plains Zoo sanctuary to aid Bilby conservation

20th April 2014 - Royal couple open Taronga Zoo Bilby exhibit

7th June 2013 - $1.9 million upgrade to facilities and access at Purnululu National Park

5th May 2014 - $13.35 million to boost Victorian national parks assets

18th June 2017 - $40 million budget commitment to revitalise Queensland’s national parks

16th June 2014 - $40 million upgrade to Fitzgerald River National Park

8th May 2014 - $7.7 million revamp for Kalbarri National Park


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