Greater Bilby

© Wayne Lawler/AWC

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Lagotis macrotis
  • Family: Thylacomyidae
  • EPBC: Vulnerable
  • Estimated population: <10,000
What Is Awc Doing Brad Leue Bilby © Brad Leue/AWC

What is AWC Doing ?

AWC protects almost 15% of the entire Bilby population.

The key to our success with Bilbies has been the establishment of massive feral predator-free areas.

AWC’s Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary protects almost 1,000 wild Bilbies, while another significant population occurs at Yookamurra Wildlife Sanctuary.

In 2016, AWC reintroduced Bilbies at Mt Gibson, where we expect the population to grow to around 240 animals.

AWC reintroduced Bilbies to the Pilliga in late 2018, and will soon establish new populations at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary and at Mallee Cliffs National Park.

Within a decade, AWC properties will protect an estimated 5,000+ Bilbies.

Threats To Wildlife Awc Numbat © AWC

Threats to Species

The Bilby population continues to decline, with the primary cause being predation by feral cats and foxes. Altered fire regimes and competition for resources with introduced herbivores are other key factors leading to the decline of this species.

Bilbies live in a variety of habitats including grasslands, stony downs country, and desert sandplains and dunefields. They occur in patchy populations from near Broome through the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts, and in an isolated population in south-western Queensland. Bilbies were once widespread across arid and semi-arid Australia, occupying around 70% of the continent. Cats and foxes have had a catastrophic impact on the species, which has disappeared from over 80% of its former range.

A second Bilby species, known as Yallara or Lesser Bilby, survived in Australia’s central deserts until about the 1960’s, but is now presumed to be extinct. AWC’s logo is a stylised image of the Yallara.

Using their strong forelimbs, Bilbies dig burrows up to three metres long to live in. They are opportunistic feeders, with a broad diet consisting of insects, seeds, bulbs, fruit and fungi.

Bilbies act as important ‘ecosystem engineers’; in the course of digging burrows and feeding, an individual Bilby turns over up to 20 tonnes of topsoil in a year.

Latest News from the Field

© L Potter/AWC
© Brad Leue/AWC
News from the Field 04 Apr. 2019

Extending the AWC model at Bullo River

© Sven Hinderaker/AWC

Sanctuaries Where You Can Find the Bilby

© Joey Clarke/AWC
New South Wales

Scotia

“Scotia wildlife sanctuary … a vitally important project for Australia and for the planet.” – Sir David Attenborough Scotia Wildlife...

© Wayne Lawler/AWC
South Australia

Yookamurra

Protecting over 5,000 hectares of crucial habitat in the Murray Darling region, Yookamurra Wildlife Sanctuary is a stronghold for Australia’s...

© Wayne Lawler/AWC
New South Wales

The Pilliga

Representing a landmark collaboration between AWC and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Pilliga project area protects a...

Other Wildlife You May Be Interested In

© Wayne Lawler/AWC
Mammals

Numbat

The Numbat is unique among Australian mammals: it is a highly-specialised termite eating marsupial.

© Brad Leue/AWC
Mammals

Banded Hare Wallaby

The Banded Hare-wallaby is the sole survivor of an ancient group of kangaroos which included the giant short-faced kangaroos.

© Kim Wormald
Mammals

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby

The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby was believed to be extinct for much of the 20th century, until the chance discovery of a surviving population in 1973.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news from the field