Bilby

"I'm cute don't you think? I'm a Bilby"

Hard to find they are an endangered species

Australian Bilby
Photo courtesy of www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/australia

Just the name of the small fury creature sounds different and they are one of our Aussie cuties.

Another one of our strange marsupials with a little difference, they belong to the bandicoot group or family and is about the size of a domestic cat. Their stand-out feature is their large ears.

Another feature is their long pointed nose or snout giving them a very well-developed sense of smell helping them sniff out food and help them listen for predators. There coat or fur is mostly a softer grey and white, they also have a long whitish tail. There front paws are very strong as to help them dig burrows and also find other food.

Like the kangaroo or koala the female bilby have a pouch in which they carry their new born. Bilbies normally have one or two young ones at a time and their pouches have eight nipples and is facing backwards witch allows for a quick or easy escape. Bilbies can breed most months of the year as long as the country is not in drought and as long as there is plenty of food.

Bilbies live in burrows underground that spiral down for about three meters in length and can be between two and a bit meters deep. They feed at night sneaking out of there burrows under the cover of darkness. The coolness of the earth in the burrow protects them from the elements and in the outback the sun can be scorching, the burrow also helps keep the predators like, goannas, dingoes, foxes and some large birds at bay.

While out at night they search for foods like termites, insects, spiders, ants, they also like plant seeds and fruits. Like the koala they do not require a great deal of water because they extract it from there food.

THEY ARE ENDANGERED

The competition for food and there habitat degradation, Our cute bilby has declined in numbers severely since the early part of the century. They are competing for food with rabbits, general livestock, and natural predation from feral animals. Bush fire also take there told as does there changing habitat.

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