TWENTY endangered bilbies will soon be hopping into their new home in Currawinya National Park, in Queensland’s southwest following a major upgrade to the predator exclusion fence.
As part of National Bilby Day today, 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 $738,000 upgrade comes after the 2011 and 2012 floods caused serious damage to the 25 square kilometre enclosure, allowing predators, including feral cats to get in.
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“Essential repair work was carried out at the time, but we needed a long-term solution to prevent further incursions by feral cats,” Ms Enoch said.
“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.”