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The Easter Bilby is a local Australian alternative to the more globally known Easter Bunny.

In Australia, the fecundity of introduced rabbits made them a major environmental pest, and feral rabbits are still a problem. There have been moves in recent years to popularise the endangered native bilby[1] as an alternative to the Easter Bunny through the promotion of chocolate Easter Bilbies.[2] The campaign has had some success, with Easter Bilbies now a common sight in Australia around Easter, but the traditional Easter Bunny remains more popular.

Contents

Origin

The Easter Bilby concept dates back to March 1968.. The first documented case of someone using the the term Easter Bilby is in a story which Rose-Marie Dusting called “Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby”. The nun who taught Rose-Marie has sent her the original story, dated March 1968. Rose-Marie lived in a tiny Australian out back town in Western Queensland called Richmond. Rose-Marie has been an advocate for Bilby conservation for almost 30 years and a percentage of the sales of her books has been donated to Bilby conservation funds. But journalist Ian Faithfull has suggested that "the concept of the Easter Bilby was invented between 1976 and 1983 by Malcolm Turner of the Hawthorn Junior Field Naturalists Club as a replacement for the Easter bunny at the Club’s traditional Easter bush camps. Officials of the Club acted as the Easter Bilby and delivered chocolate eggs to camp participants on Easter morning." This proves beyond any doubt that Rose-Marie Dusting is the Creator of the Australian Easter Bilby. This information will be on display next year as part of our Australian History.


Bilblys are also called Rabbit-Eared Bandicoots. They are nocturnal and they eat fruits and small bugs and animals.

The Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia[3] began using the Easter Bilby in 1991 to show the damage that feral rabbits do to the Australian environment.

Darrell Lea

Confectioner Darrell Lea is a strong supporter of the "Save The Bilby fund"[4] ever since it was formed in 1999. Darrell Lea has been manufacturing chocolate Easter bilbies[5] which they have been giving a portion of the sales to the foundation.

See also

References

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