Environment SA News

Bilby joey makes rare appearance on camera

Just in time for Easter, a young greater bilby has been spotted for the first time in the Venus Bay Conservation Park on the Eyre Peninsula.

A first: young bilby captured on remote sensing camera at Venus Bay Conservation Park.

Just in time for Easter, a young greater bilby has been spotted for the first time in the Venus Bay Conservation Park on the Eyre Peninsula.

The recent sighting brings hope that although conditions are dry, the reintroduced and only wild greater bilby population in South Australia is breeding.

Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Senior Natural Resources Officer Liz McTaggart said this is the first young bilby captured on remote sensing camera at Venus Bay Conservation Park.

“The population at Venus Bay is starting to show itself to be a resilient community,” Ms McTaggart said.

As well as Cleland Wildlife Park-bred bilbies, SA has a colony reintroduced to Venus Bay Conservation Park. Bilbies are a vulnerable species in South Australia and captive breeding and release programs support their survival.

DEW Natural Resources Officer Libby Hunt said the young bilby is likely to be around three to four months old.

“On average newborn bilby joeys are around the size of a bean and stay safe in their mum’s pouch. Joeys emerge from the pouch at around 11-12 weeks, before weaning a couple of weeks later,” Ms Hunt said.

“Surviving to the adult breeding age of six months is a massive accomplishment for a bilby joey.” 

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An adult greater bilby captured on camera at Venus Bay Conservation Park

Ongoing park management including feral cat management within the predator-proof fenced area, feral cat and fox control on the outside of the fence, regular fence maintenance and the control of European rabbits are all part of the recovery actions to support the wild bilby population.