EPBC Status: Vulnerable
SPRAT Species Profile: Macrotis lagotis — Greater Bilby
Found in: Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland
Threatened Species Strategy Scorecards:
Greater Bilby Year 3 scorecard 2018 (PDF - 532.98 KB)
Greater Bilby Year 3 scorecard 2018 (DOCX - 318.46 KB)
Year 3 Scorecard Summary (2018)
The Greater Bilby once ranged over three‑quarters of Australia, mostly in semi-arid and arid areas, but contracted to 20% of this original distribution following European settlement. Its decline coincided with the spread of foxes, which remain a key threat today, along with habitat changes from introduced herbivores (especially rabbits), changed fire regimes and predation by feral cats, with the relative importance of these threats varying geographically.
Bilbies are culturally significant for many Indigenous groups and around 70% of current Bilby populations are on Indigenous lands. The persistence of Bilbies in some local areas is linked to ongoing land management carried out by Indigenous communities and Indigenous people have a critical role in Bilby conservation. Recovery actions have focused on maintaining or restoring traditional patchwork fire regimes and controlling introduced predators. Translocations into predator-free exclosures and a predator-free island have allowed for further increases in population and re-establishment into the species’ former range, with more translocations planned in future.
Overall, while the total population size of Greater Bilbies is uncertain, numbers have been roughly stable for more than a decade. With the growth of management on Indigenous land, and the expansion of populations within fenced areas, the population may increase in the future.
- Threatened species strategy
- 20 birds by 2020
- 20 mammals by 2020
- 30 plants by 2020
- Three year review of progress on priority bird and mammal species
Please note that this scorecard is due for review in Year 5 of the Threatened Species Strategy (2020). If you would like to contribute information on this species please provide your contact details to ThreatenedSpeciesCommissioner@awe.gov.au
Photo credit: Babs & Bert Wells (CALM)