27 May 2019
Another wildlife warrior is no longer with us. Frank Manthey, the co-founder of the Save the Bilby Fund along with Peter McRae, died on 21 May 2019. Peter died last year.
Frank dedicated the latter portion of his life to ensuring that the endangered greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) did not become just a memory in Queensland.
Frank’s campaigning was instrumental in bringing the bilby, an arid zone animal, to the attention of the public at large. He was a major player in arguing that the Easter bilby should replace the Easter bunny, and he was instrumental in attracting money which enabled the Fund to contribute to protective measures to ensure bilby survival. His many presentations, often in concert with a live bilby, captivated audiences.
Wildlife Queensland pays tribute to Frank’s dedication and drive, and gives thanks for his exceptional contribution to the protection and continued survival of the bilby.
My last contact with Frank occurred in December last year when he emailed me with the following words:
I would like to congratulate you on the fantastic letter you sent to the minister.
That was the letter decrying the government’s proposal to allow the development of privately-owned tourist resorts in national parks.
The following day, he sent me a copy of his email to renowned zoologist, Jane Goodall, which included the following comments:
When you read what Peter thinks will happen to his great letter, major parties have lost it for me, I just wish I can stay alive long enough to get some young independents who value our environment as well as the critters we share it with to run for parliament. I have always called our National Parks the Estate of our future generations, how dare some cash strapped government lease or sell any part of our grandkids’ future.
The above photo shows Frank with Jane Goodall holding books by one of our founders, David Fleay. The photo was provided by Rosemary Thomson, David Fleay’s daughter, who knew Frank well.
26 May 2019