Distribution

Last recorded alive in 1931, the lesser bilby lived in the sandhill deserts of central Australia. The greater bilby occupied a wide variety of habitats and may have lived over about

70% of the Australian landmass. In the 1890s, one naturalist noted that "it was not unusual for rabbiters, even in the immediate neighborhood of Adelaide (South Australia), to take more bilbies than rabbits in their traps." Today, bilbies are only found in one fifth of their former range and are completely absent from the 386,000 mi2 (1 million km2) of South Australia where they were once so common.

The species is still comparatively widespread, with fragmented populations in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory; the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts and Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia; and isolated areas in southwest Queensland.

The lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura), also known as the rabbit bandicoot, is extinct. (Photo by Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

The greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) has very characteristic long ears and nose. (Photo by Martin Garvey; Gallo Images/Cobris. Reproduced by permission.)

The lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura), also known as the rabbit bandicoot, is extinct. (Photo by Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

The greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) has very characteristic long ears and nose. (Photo by Martin Garvey; Gallo Images/Cobris. Reproduced by permission.)

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