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#358 Yallara or Lesser Bilby


These went extinct back in the 1960's. The reason for their extinction was due to many factors. The main culprits seem to have been feral cats and foxes. Along with that though, these were trapped for their soft fur, had to compete with rabbits and other herbivores for food, and then some sort of change in the fire regime that many sites mentioned but didn't elaborate on also helped contribute to the extinction. There is still a bilby that is not extinct, the Greater Bibly. At one time the two bilbies could be found in about 70% of Australia. There is now an effort to have Australia have the Easter Bilby vs the Easter Bunny, and that movement is hoping it will help protect the Greater Bilby. Of this bilby I only saw one stuffed specimen which was an overall cream colour. I also saw a preserved skin of one that looked as if it had essentially been mauled to death, only had maybe half of its fur and I don't remember seeing any ears (I just glanced at it and decided it was no help). The skin was a mix of dark grey and toffee. All the descriptions said it was a light grey with a white tail and white stomach. Colours change so much with preserved specimens, so I went with the grey. They had interesting feet with 3 good sized toes and 2 tiny little ones on their front feet, and only 3 toes on their back feet. They were pretty small too, only 12 1/2 ounces.

Tomorrow is the last official day of school this year for my youngest. It is weird this year. Usually we have a fire pit and burn whatever paper homework they have that we haven't recycled already, and we cook over the fire and celebrate the end of the school year. Because the whole year was online for him, there really isn't any paper homework to use as kindling for the fire pit. After that traditional fire pit dinner we would often end up with the kids moving out of their rooms into a tent most years. My oldest discovered the joys of a hammock though, and he likes to sleep in that more than a tent. Because he'd be alone in the tent, my youngest doesn't really like to sleep in the tent alone, and he's more for warmth and a comfortable bed than a hammock, so the last two years he's been sleeping inside when my oldest moves out. I understand, though as it gets nicer and nicer outside I will probably kick him out of the house and make him get at least a bit of sleeping outside. Last year was weird too because of the fires making just being outside without a respirator mask not feasible. I couldn't let the boys sleep outside when the air was almost chewy it was so thick with smoke. I am truly truly hoping fire season is not as bad this year.

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