By Peter Rosentreter from Engel
Engel Distribution Pty Ltd is involved in many aspects of daily life in Australia. Many of these ventures go unnoticed and unseen as it is not in our nature to boast. However the latest venture we are putting funds into bears mentioning, to bring awareness to some of the issues our fauna is experiencing today. Engel Distribution Pty Ltd is proud to be the major sponsor of the “Engel Malcolm Douglas Bilby Rescue”. The following is an extract from a letter I received from famous bushman Malcolm Douglas, who heads up this worthwhile venture. If you want more information please log onto www.bilbyrescue.com. Over the last 200 years Australia has had the worst rate of extinction of mammals of any continent anywhere in the world. The small iconic Bandicoot known as the Bilby is now critically endangered across Australia. There are a few scattered breeding groups in the most remote regions of arid Australia. Queensland has developed a strategy in the last few years to try and save the Bilby by setting up captive breeding colonies. The department of conservation and environment in Western Australia has now also begun to breed Bilbies in the Dryandra State Forest and on the Peron Peninsula at Shark Bay (the Queensland and Western Australian colonies are of different types and are not to be interbred). I have been negotiating with the Western Australian state authorities to extend the Bilby breeding program to include my Wildlife Wilderness Park in Broome.
The Department of Conservation have now issued me with a licence to capture a minimum of 6 pairs of Bilbies in the Great Sandy Desert, 250km East of Broome. Eight of these Bilbies will be relocated to Broome for our breeding program and 4 will be sent to the Government breeding program at Shark Bay which has recently experienced a set-back due to flooding. Due to the remoteness of this area, it is going to be an arduous and expensive expedition to successfully find the Bilbies. Our main concern is that the Red Fox has now migrated North and we believe is killing off the last small Bilby populations. It is now vital that we head out into the desert as soon as the weather is cool enough (June 2008). I will also be producing a television special to increase public awareness of the plight of the Bilby. I believe that the story of the Kimberley Bilby is a great one to be told and hopefully with the implementation of this project, we will see the revival of this much loved Australian species.
Malcolm Douglas Broome Wilderness Park