Bilbies are nocturnal animals that do not like the heat, so they create their own burrow for shelter. Burrows are usually 6 feet deep and 10 feet long, or 2 meters deep and 3 meters long. They will usually live alone, however sometimes as many as four bilbies will share a burrow.
Bilbies weigh about 5 ½ pounds, or 2 ½ kilograms and are about 1 to 2 feet long, or 29 to 55 centimeters.
They are omnivores, eating various insects, fungi, fruits, small mammals, bulbs, eggs, and lizards.
Bilbies live mainland in the deserts and grasslands of Australia.
Predators and Survival
Predators of greater bilbies include foxes, dingoes, wild cats, owls, eagles, and humans. The bilby can be difficult to snatch from its burrow, so the predator usually cannot reach in far enough to attack. Bilbies do not have good eyesight, however they do have a great sense of smell and hearing which helps them find prey and run from predators.
They tend to live up to 7 years in the wild and begin to breed at 6 months of age.
Bilbies will breed once a year in the wild between March and May. Gestation lasts 2 weeks. The two joey’s born will continue maturing and receive nourishment from the mother’s pouch. After a few months, the bilby is independent from the mother.
Species Survival Status
The Greater Bilby is listed as endangered, according to Australian Museum and Optus Net.
Fast Fun Facts
- The greater bilby is sometimes referred to as the Australian Easter bunny.
- There used to be another kind of bilby, but it became extinct in the 1950’s. The extinct species was called the Lesser bilby.
- Greater Bilbies are the largest member of the marsupial family of bandicoots.
- The original people who lived in Australia were called Aboriginals. The name “bilby” translates from the Aboriginal word meaning the “long-nosed rat”.
- Bilbies do not usually drink water, because they get their moisture from their food.