Story Characters

Greater Bilby

Scientific name: Macrotis lagotis
Kaurna name: Pingku
Ngarrindjeri name: Paraki

Bilbies were once common throughout large parts of Australia, including the Mount Lofty Ranges, but now they are only found in isolated populations in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. One of the contributing factors to this decline was their displacement by wild rabbits who directly compete with bilbies for food and burrows.

Banjo Frog

Scientific name: Limnodynastes dumerilii dumerilii
Kaurna name: tungkthungku
Ngarrindjeri name: menperi or ko:pili

Banjo frogs live in a range of habitats throughout much of the Murray-Darling Basin as well as the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. Frogs need aquatic habitat (water) for breeding and terrestrial habitat (land) for foraging. Dense vegetation around wetlands is ideal, especially if there is a diverse mix of plants supporting a variety of invertebrates. Wild rabbits have contributed to habitat degradation and loss, which is a major threat to the survival of frogs.

Southern Brown Bandicoot

Scientific name: Isoodon obesulus obesulus
Kaurna name: marti
Ngarrindjeri name: wirapi

Bandicoots were once widespread across southern Australia but are now endangered due to clearance and habitat damage, to which wild rabbits contribute, along with predation from foxes and wild cats.

Kangaroo Island Glossy-black Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus
Kaurna name: yutika
Ngarrindjeri name: pilambi

While they were once widespread across south-eastern Australia, Kangaroo Island Glossy-black Cockatoos are now one of the rarest cockatoos in Australia and are only found on Kangaroo Island, which is rabbit free. This is due to the decline in their food source (seeds from Sheoak trees) on mainland Australia, which is partly due to wild rabbits.


Scientific name: Allocasuarina verticillata
Kaurna name: karku
Ngarrindjeri name: kolgi

During the early days of European settlement sheoaks were cleared to provide energy for cooking and heating, and timber for construction and fencing. Clearing also opened the country for grazing and crops. Attempts to regrow these trees are hampered by wild rabbits as sheoaks, particularly the seedlings, are one of the wild rabbits’ favourite foods. Just one rabbit in two hectares (roughly the size of a cricket oval) is enough to remove all sheoak seedlings so that no new trees grow. Controlling wild rabbits helps sheoaks to re-establish. The absence of wild rabbits on Kangaroo Island is one of the reasons sheoaks and glossy-black cockatoos survive there.