How a 13-Year-Old Raised Over $1500 to Save Endangered Bilbies

A 13-year-old girl from Springfield Lakes has raised over $1,500 for the Save the Bilby Fund. Although Greater Bilbies are not yet extinct, they are considered an endangered species in Queensland and are nationally listed as vulnerable.

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Mikaela Van Haren has independently raised over $1,500 for the Save the Bilby Fund through various fundraising methods, including the Containers for Change program, bake sales, car washes, and even selling her toys.

In the aftermath of the 2019 bushfires, Mikaela was inspired to fundraise to assist animals in need. Putting plans into action, she sought assistance from the Ipswich Nature Centre, which had bred bilbies with success, to help her connect with the Save the Bilby Fund and make a contribution.

On Tuesday, April 4th, Mikaela presented her donation to the Save The Bilby Fund at the newly renovated Queens Park Environmental Education Centre.

Mikaela said she thinks it is unfair that the baby is only remembered during Easter. She takes comfort in knowing that her efforts, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on at least one animal.

Mikaela’s donation to the Save The Bilby Fund was accepted by its director, Al Mucci. He said that the funds will be utilized to support the Charleville Breeding Facility and the bilby population in Currawinya National Park, which is estimated at 450, offering hope for the species’ survival.

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The Greater Bilby, or “Mankarr” by the Martu people, once inhabited 70% of Australia but is now vulnerable to extinction due to feral cats and foxes, habitat destruction, and inappropriate fire regimes.

It can only be found in remote areas of northern and central Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and southwest Queensland.

As one of Queensland’s 15 endangered mammals, conservation efforts are underway, including the replacement of the Easter Bunny with the Easter Bilby to raise awareness.

Mikaela’s contribution to the Save the Bilby Fund showcases the impact of individual efforts towards the conservation of an endangered species. Her inspiring dedication at such a young age serves as a reminder of the power of one person to make a positive impact.

Published 15-April-2023