As equinox’s go, in Australia the relation of the full moon to March 25 means the onset of autumn, not spring. Aussies have had their summer and like us “Northers” they are moving on. Oh they celebrate easter, indeed, especially eggs and estrus and all that reproduction, with gusto. But Australians are not happy with the over sexed bunny which represents easter worldwide.
Introduced by European settlers in the 1800’s, rabbits cost the economy more than $400 million a year in damages to farmlands and cattle forage.
In 1979 a school teacher began her own method of eradication of the cuddly rodent. To Rose Marie Dusting, celebrating an animal that ravages the land denies the reality of Australia’s rabbit plague. The rabbit is a pest, damaging Australia’s fragile environment.
A movement across the continent offers a native alternative, the Bilby, a rare marsupial in danger of extinction. This nocturnal member of the Bandicoot family, once covered 70% of Australia. Today, numbers are only in the hundreds, as foxes and cats squeeze it out of its burrows and rabbits gobble its favorite foods – termites, beetles and grasshoppers.
Australians buy chocolate Bilbys instead and move to put all bunnies out of the Continent.