What is Boj? – Boj is a bilby!
A very rare marsupial found in Australia. The bilby is the largest member of the family of marsupials called bandicoots.
Sadly these cute burrowing creatures are now an endangered species, with an estimated 600-700 left. Bilbies once populated 70% of mainland Australia, today that figure has dropped dramatically.
Why are bilbies endangered?
Farming of animals has destroyed the bilby’s natural habitat. The introduction of European foxes and cats have created a new predator for bilbies and rabbits have been in competition for the bilby’s food sources.
Tell me more about bilbies!
- Bilbies fur is very soft and a blue-grey colour, they have a black tail with a white crest at the end
- Their long ears enable them to hear predators coming whilst they are digging
- Bilbies can grow up to 55cm in body length with a tail of up to 29cm long
- They have an excellent sense of smell due to their long snout
- They have a long, sticky tongue which they use to lick up seeds and worms from the ground
- Bilbies have very poor eyesight and are very sensitive to light
- Like a kangaroo, bilbies have a pouch – but a bilby’s pouch is very different from that of its other marsupial buddies, as it opens backwards so it does not fill with dirt when burrowing
- Bilbies live in extraordinary spiralling burrows which are dug up to 2 metres deep – this is to protect them from predators and also to keep them at a constant temperature
- Bilbies live on average 6 years in the wild and 11 years in captivity
- Bilbies are nocturnal – they will not come out from their burrows until night time and will return at least an hour before dawn
What can we do to save bilbies?
The Save The Bilby Fund has been set up in Australia to help educate the next generation about the plight of the endangered bilby.
If you would like to find out how you can help the Save The Bilby Fund – burrow on over to their website www.savethebilbyfund.com/
Photographs by: Lyle Radford