Bilbies

A bilby is a small burrowing marsupial, native to Australia.

782 Questions
Bilbies

Why is the greater bilby becoming extinct?

Bilbies, also known as rabbit-eared bandicoots, are critically endangered. These marsupials used to cover two thirds of Australia, but now have been pushed back so that they only live in deserts.

The introduction of foxes and cats, which have turned feral, have resulted in their being endangered, as the vulnerable bilby is an easy food source for them, as well as for dingoes. Trapping to catch foxes has unfortunately resulted in the bilbies themselves often being caught.

The introduction of the rabbit, which voraciously eats much of the vegetation the bilby eats, has resulted in reduced food sources. Rabbits also dig burrows which cause problems for the bilby's habitat, as they tend to cause the bilbies to be caved in. The bilby's habitat has also suffered from being trampled on by herds of stock animals.

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Bilbies

Where do bilbies live?

Bilbies (small marsupials sometimes known as rabbit-eared bandicoots) are critically endangered, and can only be found in isolated areas of far western Queensland and the Northern Territory, and areas of the Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara and Kimberley areas of Western Australia. In Queensland, they may be seen in a protected area near Charleville, in the west.

Bilbies live in burrows in hot, dry grasslands and semi-arid spinifex areas. The burrow entrance is often positioned against a termite mound or small shrub, and a single bilby may have up to a dozen burrows that it uses either for shelter during the day, or as a quick escape route from predators.

Amazingly adaptable for their size and the threats to them, bilbies can live in sandstone ridges, gibber plains, rocky soils with little ground cover, a variety of grasslands, and acacia scrub.

Prior to European settlement, bilbies were across about two-thirds of Australia, but being highly vulnerable to habitat loss and competition with introduced animals, it has not survived in those areas.

The first link below gives a map showing the known distribution of the bilby.

The second link also shows a map displaying how the bilby's habitat in Queensland has shrunk since European settlement.

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Bilbies

Does the Bilby live in Australia's outback?

Yes. Bilbies (small marsupials sometimes known as rabbit-eared bandicoots) are critically endangered, and can only be found in isolated areas of far western Queensland and the Northern Territory, and areas of the Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara and Kimberley areas of Western Australia. In Queensland, they may be seen in a protected area near Charleville, in the west.

Bilbies live in burrows in hot, dry grasslands and semi-arid spinifex areas. The burrow entrance is often positioned against a termite mound or small shrub, and a single bilby may have up to a dozen burrows that it uses either for shelter during the day, or as a quick escape route from predators.

Amazingly adaptable for their size and the threats to them, bilbies can live in sandstone ridges, gibber plains, rocky soils with little ground cover, a variety of grasslands, and acacia scrub.

Prior to European settlement, bilbies were across about two-thirds of Australia, but being highly vulnerable to habitat loss and competition with introduced animals, it has not survived in those areas.

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Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Bilbies

Why are Bilbies endangered?

Bilbies, also known as rabbit-eared bandicoots, are critically endangered. These marsupials used to cover two thirds of Australia, but now have been pushed back so that they only live in deserts.

The introduction of foxes and cats, which have turned feral, have resulted in their being endangered, as the vulnerable bilby is an easy food source for them, as well as for dingoes. Trapping to catch foxes has unfortunately resulted in the bilbies themselves often being caught.

The introduction of the rabbit, which voraciously eats much of the vegetation the bilby eats, has resulted in reduced food sources. Rabbits also dig burrows which cause problems for the bilby's habitat, as they tend to cause the bilbies to be caved in. The bilby's habitat has also suffered from being trampled on by herds of stock animals.

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Bilbies

What are predators of the bilby?

Natural predators of the bilby include dingoes and quolls, although due to habitat loss, quolls no longer share habitats with the bilby, which has been driven further inland. Carpet pythons and birds of prey also pose a danger.

Feral dogs, foxes and cats are introduced predators of the bilby. Whilst not predators, introduced rabbits pose a threat to the bilby. Not only do they eat the bilbies' food, but their burrowing often causes the bilbies' burrows to cave in, trapping and suffocating the bilbies.

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Bilbies

What are the predators of the greater bilby?

Natural predators of the bilby include dingoes and quolls, although due to habitat loss, quolls no longer share habitats with the bilby, which has been driven further inland.

Carpet pythons and birds of prey also pose a danger, while the introduced fox also poses considerable risk.

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Bilbies

What do bilbies eat?

Bilbies are omnivores and nocturnal feeders. They eat ants, termites, beetles, centipedes and grasshoppers and other insects, larvae, seeds, bulbs, fruit and fungi. Occasionally they may eat small mammals. They use their strong forelegs to dig and search for food, and their long nose to help dig out larvae as well.

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Bilbies

How Does A Bilby survive in the desert?

The Bilby (Macrotis Lagotis), sometimes known as a rabbit eared bandicoot, is a small marsupial of Australia. It was originally found throughout Australia, in much more hospitable environments, but habitat loss due to European settlement has driven it into the desert. It has developed a number of physical adaptations which help it to survive in its harsh desert environment.

1. Large ears.

The large ears have several purposes. The main reason for having large ears is for thermo regulation (to cool the bilby). Blood flows quickly into the thin tissue around the Bilby's ears, preventing them from getting too hot during the day and from losing body heat quickly at night.

These large ears give the bilby an excellent sense of hearing, which makes up for the fact that their sense of sight is not as well-developed. They can also be rotated, much as a cat's ears do, to discern direction and distances of sounds.

2. Sharp Claws

The bilby has sharp claws similar to those of the bandicoot. These claws allow for burrowing deep into the arid earth which pawed animals would have difficulty penetrating. There are five front digits on each foot, with the central three being longer than the outside ones.

Sharp claws also allow the marsupial to dig out plants for eating. Bilbies are omnivores and must forage for invertebrates such as insects, as well as digging out plant bulbs and tubers.

3. A Long Tongue

The bilby has a long tongue to help it when feeding on fungi, root bulbs and insect larvae.

4. Backwards-Facing Pouch

The female bilby has a backwards-facing pouch. This prevents dirt from getting into the pouch when the creature is digging.

5. Water Needs

The bilby does not need to drink water. It obtains enough moisture from the food it eats, which includes insects, seeds, bulbs, fungi, spiders and larvae.

6. Long Snout

The bilby has a long snout, and an excellent sense of smell. These two adaptations help it to hunt out and catch small prey such as the small invertebrates (insects and larvae) on which it feeds, and also helps it to reach other foods such as bulbs, fruit, fungi and seeds easily.

7. Reproduction

As a marsupial, the bilby has a shorter gestation period than other mammals. Its gestation period is only around fourteen days.

8. Shelter

The bilby digs a burrow around 1-2 m in length to escape the heat of the day. The shelter can easily be up to 10 degrees cooler than the surface temperature. It is nocturnal, only emerging at night to obtain food.

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Bilbies

What are the answers to the Save The Bilby Fund crossword?

This is a challenge one must undertake oneself. Do not expect WikiAnswers to provide answers to quizzes and crosswords which are designed to enhance one's understanding of a topic.

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Bilbies

What is the Greater bilby's diet?

Greater bilbies are omnivores and nocturnal feeders. They eat ants, termites, beetles, centipedes and grasshoppers and other insects, larvae, seeds, bulbs, fruit and fungi. Occasionally they may eat small mammals. They use their strong forelegs to dig and search for food, and their long nose to help dig out larvae as well.

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Bilbies

How is the greater bilby being helped?

There are a number of conservation measures in place to try and help the bilby, an endangered species of Australia. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has been studying and monitoring a bilby colony in far west Queensland since 1988, whilst scientific research on both the ground and from the air has surveyed south-west Queensland to study habits and numbers of the bilby. The Astrebla Downs National Park, a protected reserve, includes this western Qld colony. Already there have been successful reintroductions of captive-bred individuals into sites located in Western Australia and South Australia.

In addition, bilbies are being bred in captivity in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and South Australia. This ensures their protection, and there are plans to reintroduce captive-bred bilbies to their former habitat if necessary, to ensure the bilby's overall survival.

Further measures being considered are the removal or increased control of cattle and predators.

The Save the Bilby Fund has more information. See the related link.

You can also contact an organisation like WIRES and inquire with them.

To raise funds for the bilbies cause, Darrel Lea has been selling chocolate bilbies, which have led to a 25 sq km safe haven being erected in Currawinya National Park. On 19 April 2005, 30-40 bilbies were released, and another 6 in February 2006.

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Science
Math and Arithmetic
Geometry
Bilbies

What does the Greater Antilles look like?

if you look on a map it might help to see what the Greater Antilles look like

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Reptiles
Snakes
Taxonomy
Bilbies

Snakes belong to this CLASS of animal?

reptile

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Bilbies

How do bilbies sleep?

Bilbies sleep in burrows. They tend to sleep sitting back on their tails, with their head tucked down between their front paws and their ears folded along their face. They are usually solitary, so are more likely to sleep alone, but sometimes live in groups of three or four.

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Bilbies

Why is a bilby chosen as an Australian Easter symbol?

Two simple answers:

1. To raise public awareness of this endangered creature, and to raise funds to help support the recovery programme for the bilby.

2. Bilbies are native, and suit the Australian environment perfectly; rabbits are not native, and are an ecological disaster in Australia.

In Australia, the development of the Easter Bilby has been a protracted campaign by many groups concerned with preserving the bilby, which is critically endangered. The idea of an Easter bilby has actually been around since the 1970s. One of its sources may be a book entitled Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby being launched by author Rose-Marie Dusting, in Adelaide in 1979 (sources indicate she conceived the concept of the story as a child). Dusting donated a percentage of the sales of her book to conservation of the bilby, and has continued to support effort to raise awareness of Australia's endangered species. There are other claims of small groups implementing the concept of an Easter bilby, all around the same time, i.e. late 1970s to early 1980s.

The first chocolate bilbies in Australia were produced in 1993 by South Australian companies Haigh's Chocolates, Melba's Chocolates and Cottage Box Chocolates, and were an initiative of the Anti-Rabbit research Fund of Australia (now Foundation for Rabbit-free Australia). The purpose of this campaign was to highlight the destruction caused since the introduction of rabbits in Australia in the 1860s.

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Bilbies

What can you do to stop Bilbies from becoming extinct?

There are a number of conservation measures already being undertaken to try and prevent the extinction of the Greater bilby, an endangered marsupial of Australia. The Lesser bily is already believed to be extinct, but it is not yet too late to save the Greater Bilby.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has been studying and monitoring a bilby colony in far west Queensland since 1988, whilst scientific research on both the ground and from the air has surveyed south-west Queensland to study habits and numbers of the bilby. The Astrebla Downs National Park, a protected reserve, includes this western Qld colony. Already there have been successful reintroductions of captive-bred individuals into sites located in Western Australia and South Australia.

In addition, bilbies are being bred in captivity in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and South Australia. This ensures their protection, and there are plans to reintroduce captive-bred bilbies to their former habitat if necessary, to ensure the bilby's overall survival.

Further measures being considered are the removal or increased control of cattle and predators.

The Save the Bilby Fund has more information. See the related link.

You can also contact an organisation like WIRES and inquire with them.

To raise funds for the bilbies cause, Darrel Lea has been selling chocolate bilbies, which have lead to a 25 sq km safe haven being erected in Currawinya National Park. On 19 April 2005, 30-40 bilbies were released, and another 6 in February 2006.

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Bilbies

Does the bilby live by itself or in a group?

Bilbies are generally solitary animals. At most, they will live in family groups of up to four.

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Bilbies

What are special adaptations of the bilby or rabbit eared bandicoot?

The Bilby (Macrotis Lagotis), sometimes known as a rabbit eared bandicoot, is a small marsupial of Australia. It was originally found throughout Australia, in much more hospitable environments, but habitat loss due to European settlement has driven it into the desert. It has developed a number of physical adaptations which help it to survive in its harsh desert environment.

1. Large ears.

The large ears have several purposes. The main reason for having large ears is for thermo regulation (to cool the bilby). Blood flows quickly into the thin tissue around the Bilby's ears, preventing them from getting too hot during the day and from losing body heat quickly at night.

These large ears give the bilby an excellent sense of hearing, which makes up for the fact that their sense of sight is not as well-developed. They can also be rotated, much as a cat's ears do, to discern direction and distances of sounds.

2. Sharp Claws

The bilby has sharp claws similar to those of the bandicoot. These claws allow for burrowing deep into the arid earth which pawed animals would have difficulty penetrating. There are five front digits on each foot, with the central three being longer than the outside ones.

Sharp claws also allow the marsupial to dig out plants for eating. Bilbies are omnivores and must forage for invertebrates such as insects, as well as digging out plant bulbs and tubers.

3. A Long Tongue

The bilby has a long tongue to help it when feeding on fungi, root bulbs and insect larvae.

4. Backwards-Facing Pouch

The female bilby has a backwards-facing pouch. This prevents dirt from getting into the pouch when the creature is digging.

5. Water Needs

The bilby does not need to drink water. It obtains enough moisture from the food it eats.

6. Long Snout

The bilby has a long snout, and an excellent sense of smell. These two adaptations help it to hunt out and catch small prey such as the small invertebrates (insects and larvae) on which it feeds, and also helps it to reach other foods such as bulbs, fruit, fungi and seeds easily.

7. Reproduction

As a marsupial, the bilby has a shorter gestation period than other mammals. Its gestation period is only around fourteen days.

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Bilbies

Are bilbies dangerous?

No. Bilbies are not at all dangerous.

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Bilbies

What is a lesser bilby?

The lesser bilby is an extinct species of bilby. It was one of Australia's marsupials, in the bandicoot family.

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Bilbies

What is the scientific name for the bilby?

The scientific name for the bilby is Macrotis Lagotis.Different bilby species have different names, such as Macrotis Lagotis sagitta for the Eastern bilby.

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Bilbies

How did the lessar bilby become extinct?

The Lesser Bilby (discovered in 1887) was an omnivore. It ate termites, ants, and roots. It was known only in the Gibson and the desert of central Australia. It is unknown if it had a greater range. It was exterminated by fur trapping, foxes, and competition from rabbits.

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Bilbies

What is the Bilby's real name?

The Bilby, also known as the Rabbit-Eared Bandicoot, has the scientific name of Macrotis lagotis.

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Bilbies

What are the uses of a Bilby's burrow?

A bilby's burrow is used for shelter and protection.

The bilby digs a spiralling burrow which may extend three metres in length, and two metres in depth. This helps protect the bilby from the intense heat of the desert and semi-arid area where it lives. The burrow stays at around 23 degrees Celsius, pleasant during both summer and winter. The bilby is a nocturnal feeder, so it stays in its burrow during the day and comes out at night to forage for food.

The burrow also offers protection from predators. Bilbies do not have just one burrow, but may have access to dozens of burrows. Some of these are used for daytime shelter, while others are escape burrows. Bilbies frequently fill in the burrow behind them, to prevent the entry of predators.

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Bilbies

Where in Australia do bilbies live?

The Greater Bilby, a small marsupial sometimes known as the rabbit-eared bandicoot, is critically endangered, and can only be found in isolated areas of far western Queensland and the Northern Territory, and areas of the Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara and Kimberley areas of Western Australia. In Queensland, it may be seen in a protected area near Charleville, in the west.

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