We all know when Easter rolls around that it’s the rabbit that takes the main stage. He’s adorable and fluffy with ridiculous ears- who could replace that creature in our hearts? The bilby of course!
He’s sweet, he’s essential, and he needs our help.
The Australian bilby is a small native bandicoot that lives in the spinifex grasslands and mulga scrublands in the drier, red-dirt areas of Australia. Unfortunately, its choice of home has also made it highly susceptible to the dangers of foxes and feral cats as well as having to fight for food and shelter with the out of control rabbit population.
Due to these pressures, where they were once found across 70% of Australia, their presence has now been restricted to 15% and even this number is under threat.
So why are bilbies so important?
- There are a keystone species. This means that the survival of 19 other threatened species depend on the bilby’s own survival.
- They are essential in the restoration of soil and rejuvenation in areas in Australia where it’s hard to grow vegetation.
- The deep and long burrows that bilbies are so excellent at digging provide protection from the harsh heats and predators, for other small, endangered creatures.
- They have been a part of the landscape for millions of years, and are therefore a critical part of a complex ecosystem that could become unbalanced without their presence.
How can you help this Easter?
Buy a chocolate bilby!
Although Cadbury ceased the production of the chocolate bilby in 2018, the clever consumer still has options for delicious bilby chocolate.
Pink Lady is the creator of the iconic bilby chocolate, well known for its connection to The Save the Bilby Fund.
The Save the Bilby Fund is an organisation that promotes the protection of bilby populations through the National Recovery Plan. This program sees the responsible breeding of bilbies as well as overseeing the management of wild, semi-wild and captive populations. This organisation relies on the kindness of donations to keep their critical work going and is not government-supported.
You are also able to donate through their website.
Similarly, the Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia (RFA) is another organisation that works hard to protect this adorable critter.
Haigh’s Chocolates in partnership with the RFA produce milk and dark chocolate bilby, with 20cents of each purchase returning to the foundation.
Easter Bilby Chocolates are an online option for organic chocolate Easter bilbies, made in NSW. 10% of each sale goes back to Save the Bilby Fund. They create vegan and raw chocolate bilbies and are entirely palm oil-free.
If chocolate is a key part of your Easter tradition, include of Australia’s sweetest creatures and choose bilby chocolate.