ASDP Celebrates National Bilby Day and Threatened Species Day

The Alice Springs Desert Park (ASDP) is inviting the community to spend the day with a bilby this Saturday 9 September, with a number of exciting and educational events planned to commemorate National Bilby Day.

The Alice Springs Desert Park (ASDP) is inviting the community to spend the day with a bilby this Saturday 9 September, with a number of exciting and educational events planned to commemorate National Bilby Day.

National Bilby Day falls on the second Saturday of September every year and draws the attention to the plight of the Bilby through the Save the Bilby Fund.

This year National Bilby Day coincides with National Threatened Species Day, which is commemorated across the country on 7 September, and raises awareness of Australian plants and animals at risk of extinction.

ASDP Director Paul Ah Chee said both National Threatened Species Day and National Bilby Day are really important initiatives, and are both complementary to the park’s main objective – conservation.

“The close dates of the two commemorative days provide a great opportunity for the Park to combine their celebrations for a greater cause.

“This year the ASDP is tying in National Threatened Species Day and National Bilby Day by throwing the spotlight on Australian mammals under threat, in particular the Bilby. To help celebrate, guests can take part in a Bilby Treasure Hunt, battle it out in a Bilby-vs-Bunny tug-of-war, enjoy a Save the Bilby Talk, or even Track-a-Bilby as part of a guided program,” said Mr Ah Chee.

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere in the world. Over the last 200 years, more than 100 animal and plant species have become extinct.

Bilbies once inhabited 70% of Australia and now they are only found in small areas in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South-West Queensland.

“Until recently, Australia had two species of Bilbies – the Greater Bilby and the Lesser Bilby. The Lesser Bilby is already believed to be extinct. The Greater Bilby is the largest member of the bandicoot family, measuring up to 55cm in body length with a tail of up to 29cm long.

“The ASDP are very proud custodians of 12 Bilby’s including our twins who were the first two Bilby’s to be born at the park for some time named Johnson and Kessing”,” said Mr Ah Chee.

In addition to the bilby celebration, the ASDP Mammal department attended a number of local schools on National Threatened Species Day, to give talks exploring the threats our desert animals are under.

The program runs from 10am-2pm on Saturday 9 September and standard entry fees or a valid Territorian Pass apply.

Donations can be made on the day to help save the bilby.

To learn more or to donate, visit https://savethebilbyfund.com/get-involved/annual-events, http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/ or follow the ASDP’s Facebook page.

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