Day 88 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today we are going to look at another species from Australia, the Greater Bilby (also known simply as Bilby, but also Dalgyte, Pinkie, or Rabbit-eared bandicoot). Here'a bit more information: 1. They are largest of the small, rat-like marsupials known as bandicoots. 2. They not only have oversized hairless ears, but also kangaroo-like long slender hind legs and a long tail that has grey, black, and white color blocking. 3. They are nocturnal and spend the day in burrows that spiral into the ground. 4. They inhabit arid areas (mainly associated with tussock and hummock grasslands and acacia shrublands). 5. Females have a backwards-facing pouch for their young (it keeps dirt out during digging, which they do to find food).
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "vulnerable" as they are fragmented in a small area of occupancy and their population size is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals facing an ongoing decline 10% over the next 12 years (equivalent to three generations). This species' major threat is predation by introduced red foxes and feral cats, and is exacerbated by changed fire regimes. There used to be a Lesser Bilby, also known as Yallara, until the 1950s when they went extinct from the introduction of feral cats and red foxes and changes in fire regimes. You can see why there would be a cause for concern for the Greater Bilby. Luckily a conservation recovery plan has been in place for the Greater Bilby since 2006 (with an updated recovery plan in the works). This plan includes a number of actions, including a focus on control of predators, continued husbandry and management of captive populations (as they have done well in captive breeding), and reintroduction of the species (which is done by The Save the Bilby Fund). With hope they will avoid the Lesser Bilby's fate. #enmlillustration #thesadhappy #digitalart