Biggest day on the bilby calendar
Published Sunday, 09 September, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
Approximately 20 endangered bilbies will soon be hopping into their new home in Currawinya National Park following a major upgrade to the predator exclusion fence.
As part of National Bilby Day today (9 September), Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch has congratulated staff from the Department of Environment and Science and Save the Bilby Fund, who have worked hard to improve the Currawinya bilby enclosure.
“The 2011 and 2012 Queensland floods affected many areas of our state, and unfortunately caused serious damage to the 25-square-kilometre bilby enclosure, allowing predatory animals to get in,” Ms Enoch said.
“Essential repair work was carried out at the time, but we needed a long-term solution to prevent further incursions by feral cats.
"The Palaszczuk Government allocated $738,000 for contractors to upgrade the enclosure. On top of that, the efforts of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers and Save the Bilby Fund have managed to create a cat-free environment for the bilbies once more.”
An ongoing feral animal control program will also assist in protecting bilbies into the future.
“While this restoration took place, Save the Bilby Fund and Dreamworld have been preparing bilbies for release into their new home,” Ms Enoch said.
Save the Bilby Fund CEO Kevin Bradley thanked the Department of Environment and Science for its ongoing support to save the iconic Australian species from extinction.
“It is encouraging from our perspective that we have been able to work so well with the Queensland Government and Dreamworld to rebuild and upgrade the Currawinya bilby enclosure in the face of adversity,” Mr Bradley said.
“This is a positive step in the right direction as part of the ongoing project – in partnership with the state government – to make sure bilbies are still around in their natural habitat for generations to come.”
Today Ms Enoch has also paid tribute to bilby warrior, Peter McRae, who tragically passed away last week.
“Peter worked with the Department of Environment and Science for 34 years, and was instrumental in the conservation of threatened species in Queensland and the greater bilby in particular,” Ms Enoch said.
“Through his dedication, research and hard work, the conservation outcomes of threatened species, including the greater bilby, have been greatly improved.
“His contribution to our current knowledge of the ecology of the outback was tremendous and I know he will be greatly missed.”
Note for media: Photos and video footage of bilbies available HERE.
Media contact: 0437 859 987