The Quokka is a small marsupial like the forest wallabies and tree kangaroo's of eastern Australia.
Very active at night, the Quokka sleep
(often in small groups) during the day in the shelter of
dense vegetation, and at night time (being sociable)up
to 150 adults converge on waterholes
Found plentifully on Rottnest Island off Perth
Western Australia, the current
population on the island is estimated to be 10,000.
Thought to be extinct on the mainland small colonies
are now starting to stabilise and expand in the south west
of Western Australia
Rottnest Island 10 km from Perth (capital of West
Australia) was named by a Dutch explorer
(some sources say Dirk Hartog in 1616, others say
De Vlamingh) who thought that the Quokkas were actually
large rats as he sailed past the island.
(thus "Rats Nest" became "Rotten nest" which became "Rottnest")
Obviously they had yet to see Wallabies or Kangaroos !!!!
The background is of Rottnest island
The Quokka is a small marsupial and looks like a Wallaby or Kangaroo.
It's head is broad but short, with a dark stripe visible on the forehead.
They have small, rounded ears covered by fur
Its body has long thick shaggy fur normally coloured brown or grey flecked
Its hind (Kangaroo like) feet are covered with stiff long hairs
The tail is relatively short and is fairly smooth with little hair on it
Quokkas sleep during the day.
They live in a warm temperature climate in long grass or
shrub land (semi arid heath) where they make pathways or
runways for feeding and escape if disturbed.
It feeds at night on native grasses and the leaves of shrubs. They need drinking water, but can survive long periods without it. This is helped by the remarkable ability of the Quokka to reuse a portion of their bodies waste products.
On the mainland, breeding is continuous but on Rottnest Island mating occurs from January to March.
After a pregnancy of around 4 weeks a single young (Joey) is born.
The joey lives in its mothers pouch suckling at one of its mothers 4 teats for the first 26 to 30 weeks. At this time it leaves the protection of the pouch but continues to suckle for another 8 to 10 weeks
Males are larger than females. .