Australia bilby under threat

2013-03-07 13:56
Floods in Australia threaten the bilby. (Queensland Police, AP)

Floods in Australia threaten the bilby. (Queensland Police, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Floods
    Everything you need to know about floods. Now R64.95
    buy now
Sydney - The future of Australia's desert-dwelling bilby is under threat after floods destroyed a predator fence which allowed feral cats to kill 150 of the newborn marsupials, conservationists said on Thursday.

The once-prolific nocturnal creature, which resembles a long-snouted rat, has died out in all but three of Australia's eight states and territories due to predators, dwindling food and habitat loss.

In order to boost numbers in Queensland, where just 600 to 700 are estimated to remain in the wild and the species has been declared endangered, conservationists erected a 2m high electrified predator fence to enclose an area of 25km2.

But Frank Manthey, co-founder of the Save The Bilby Fund, said recent floods in Queensland had destroyed parts of the fence, allowing feral cats to roam freely in a devastating setback for conservation efforts.

"We estimated we could have had around 150 newborn bilbies inside that fence, and they've cleared the lot out," Manthey told ABC television.

"We weren't vigilant enough to pick it up quick enough, but the cats did. When we discovered they were in there, it was too late."

Surviving species

Manthey said some 3 000 feral cats had been shot in the vicinity in little more than a fortnight.

He also warned that, in a double-blow for conservation efforts, the fund was in jeopardy due to the collapse of major partner confectioner Darrell Lea.

The fund was receiving about A$50 000 a year from the Easter sale of chocolate bilbies, instead of traditional bunnies, by Darrell Lea. The company went into receivership in 2012, closing its stores and cutting off funding.

Bilbies, once prolific across 70% of the Australian continent, have been reduced to small, scattered populations across desert areas of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The bilby is the largest and sole surviving species of the bandicoot family in arid and semi-arid Australia. It typically weighs 0.8kg - 1.1kg and measures 55cm in height.

The omnivores use their long, sticky tongues to eat small lizards and spiders, worms, insects and a range of plants. They live in deep burrows to keep cool and only emerge at night.

Read more on:    floods  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 20:17 PM
    Road name: MetroRail
    Due to extensive vandalism on the Central Line a limited Bus Service will operate between Nyanga/Chris Hani and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip - EXPECT DELAYS
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 19:58 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive
    ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.