It was all in aid of the Save the Bilby Fund’s recovery efforts and while there were not as many attendees as last year’s inaugural ball, project officer Peggy Mucci said the money raised was very positive.
The group has recently raised $80,000 in order to revamp the Charleville breeding facility it will be taking over from Queensland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service, and Peggy said this latest amount would be a great boost.
“This is like a creche, to look after the bilbies we breed until they can be released,” she said.
“Breeding bilbies is easy – keeping them safe is the hard part.”
A state government $750,000 repair of the feral cat-proof fence at Currawinya National Park, breached by flooding, has been completed and Peggy said it’s been six weeks since a cat has been sighted by surveillance cameras or caught in traps at the park.
Even so, she said they wouldn’t be returning bilbies to the park for a while yet, before the breeding facility renovations have been undertaken.
“It needs to be escape proof and feral proof in return, and functional for our needs,” she said.
The group is working from a long-term national bilby recovery blueprint but is focusing on breeding for Queensland needs, where bilbies are critically endangered.
A new group of nine citizen scientists, participating in the Bilby Tracks program, has just begun helping with survey work at Currawinya, following on from an initial venture undertaken this time last year.
Peggy said another 13 were on a waiting list for the November visit.