Through the NSW government's Saving our Species program, 30 bilbies were released in the Mallee Cliffs National Park in southwest NSW. The program aims to boost the world population of bilbies by more than 10%.
A 9570-hectare predator-free fenced enclosure was built for the bilbies and nine other native mammals that are listed as extinct in NSW. The enclosure will protect them from feral predators such as cats and foxes.
Feral cats(external link) are one of the biggest threats to native animals, killing about 3.1 million mammals in Australia every year.
Minister for Environment Matt Kean said we have an opportunity to bring back bilbies to NSW national parks.
“This release is the first of many at Mallee Cliffs National Park that sees us turning around the extinction rates for our native animals,” Mr Kean said.
In March 2015, the NSW Government pledged $100 million over 5 years to protect the State’s threatened species, commencing 1 July 2016.
The new funds will allow the Saving our Species program to expand to cover more species as well as threatened ecological communities and key threatening processes.