CANBERRA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Threatened Species Commissioner has launched a smartphone application to save the endangered bilby from extinction.
Bilbies, or rabbit-bandicoots, are a species of marsupial native to Australia.
The Bilby Blitz program, launched by Threatened Species Commissioner Sally Box on Tuesday night, involves 20 groups of rangers surveying millions of hectares of the outback in the Northern Territory and Western Australia for signs of bilbies.
When a group finds trace of a bilby in a region, they will add the marsupial to a central database using the Tracks smartphone app.
Tracking efforts will begin at the start of April with rangers using traditional knowledge to identify traces of the animal.
The app can be set to English or Warlpiri, a common indigenous language, to accommodate indigenous rangers.
"About 80 percent of bilbies now occur on Indigenous-owned or Indigenous-managed land," Box told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday.
"(So) the role of Indigenous rangers and Indigenous communities in protecting the bilby is absolutely critical," he said.
"It's combining traditional knowledge of country and tracking skills with digital technology, so that we can get a better understanding of what's going on with the bilby across its range."
When the bilby-tracking is completed, the Tracks app will be used to log sightings or traces of any threatened species.
In addition to making the app easier to use for indigenous rangers, making it available in Warlpiri could also save the language from dying out with junior rangers learning the language from it.