Conserving Australia’s Favourite Furry Friend – The Fight To Save The Bilbies (And Not Just The Chocolate Ones)
- Two-thirds of Australians recognise and know Australia’s favourite furry friend,
- 80% of older Australians understand why it’s important we protect them in
- 45% of Australians will choose a chocolate bilby over bunny this Easter
The chocolate bilby at Easter is almost as iconic and recognisable amongst Australians as the furry marsupial itself.
The plight of the bilby has been front and centre on shop shelves at Easter as chocolatiers have created chocolate bilbies to raise awareness about this native animal and contribute funds to conservation programs.
Take Adelaide-based Haigh’s, for example: famed for their Easter Bilby, they have sold over 800,000 chocolate bilbies and anticipate selling another 70,000 this Easter.
The chocolate bilby was so popular when it launched in the mid-90s that the company chose to phase out their chocolate bunny two years later.
And the delicious campaigning has paid off: recent research from Brighter shows that two-thirds of Australians know what a bilby is, and 80% of older Australians understand why it’s important we protect them in their environment.
But chocolatiers and the 45% of Australians who choose chocolate bilbies over bunnies for Easter are just one part of the solution to keeping our bilbies safe.
For a more year-long approach, gas company Buru Energy Ltd is doing their part to conserve the iconic furry Aussie animal in Western Australia.
The Canning Basin is one of the few regions in Australia that still has a healthy population of the greater bilby. As the largest oil and gas operator in the area, it was critical to them they better understand and fight for the distribution and ecology of bilbies, and in doing so, fight for their conservation.
Since 2014, Buru Energy has teamed with Murdoch University to extensively study the habitats and ecosystems of the bilby.
“We undertook a lot of research to fully understand the habitat of bilby and how we can lead the conservation and growth of such an important population,” said Chief Operating Officer, Dr Kris Waddington.
Their latest study, ‘An outback oasis: the ecological importance of bilby burrows’, found that the bilby is actually one of the most generous furry friends in the outback.
Over the course of the research, cameras observed more than 45 different animals seeking refuge, or foraging around, bilby burrows, making conservation efforts even more imperative.
“We need to do everything we can to protect the bilby and their environment to ensure they are well-protected.”
Director for Brighter program, Sarah Browne says: “Companies like Buru Energy are ensuring that the once-a-year Easter chocolate campaign isn’t the only time this population is lent a hand. These awareness and conservation effort work hand in hand to ensure the bilby is Australia’s favourite marsupial for a long time to come.”
About Brighter: Brighter is an initiative of APPEA, the voice of the Australian oil and gas industry. Brighter is all about natural gas and how we use it every day. As a naturally occurring and abundant resource, it will continue to play an important role in powering Australian homes and businesses.
For more information and high-res imagery, please contact:
Media and Digital Manager, Brighter
0403 581 325
Deputy Director, Brighter
0475 942 993