27 September 2023

Bilbies booming in national park

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The future of the iconic bilby in NSW is looking brighter with the population more than doubling at Mallee Cliffs National Park since they were reintroduced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in December 2019.

Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean said the growing population showed how successful feral-free safe havens were in protecting species and allowing them to thrive.

“Only 18 months ago, there were no bilbies in Mallee Cliffs National Park,” Mr Kean said.

“Now the population is booming and projected to increase to up to 1,100 bilbies in Mallee Cliffs alone,” he said.

“It is estimated that feral cats alone kill more than 1.5 billion native animals every year and small to medium-sized mammals are especially vulnerable, so we need projects like these to remove threats and give our native species a fighting chance.”

Mr Kean said 50 bilbies were initially released into a special breeding area at Mallee Cliffs National Park in south-western NSW.

The Minister said ecologists had commenced relocating individuals from the breeding area into the wider 9,500-hectare feral-predator-free safe haven.

“The largest such fenced area on mainland Australia,” he said.

Mr Kean said the feral-free area at Mallee Cliffs was one of three large, feral-free areas in NSW national parks, along with areas in Piliga State Conservation Area and Sturt National Park.

Mr Kean said six threatened species had already been reintroduced into the parks and seven more were set to be reintroduced by 2024.

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