The Happy Little Quokka
Quokkas are small marsupial animals found on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. They also inhabit certain parts of the South West of the state. People from all over the globe visit for a selfie with a quokka. Their cheery face and friendly demeanour make quokkas known for being one of the happiest-looking little creatures in the world.
The quokka (pronounced “kwoka”) is no bigger than a small dog (think miniature poodle). They carry their young (called a joey) in their pouch just like a kangaroo. But unlike a kangaroo, quokkas can climb bushes and low trees to forage for food and to sleep in. Being nocturnal animals, quokkas are predominantly active at night and generally rest during the daytime.
As herbivores, quokkas eat various plants including succulents, grasses and leaves. But the quokka’s favourite food of all time is the Guichenotia ledifolia shrub. This shrub makes pretty bluish or pink flowers between July and October each year. Quokkas love eating from this shrub so much they are sometimes found dozing off in or near it.
Due to the effects of human activity, the quokka population has been significantly affected. Land clearing, bushfires and introduced predators are some of the biggest threats to the quokka.
Because they are so friendly and inquisitive, they will often approach people on their own. But like all creatures, cute little quokkas should be respected for their uniqueness and appreciated from a distance and not be given human food to eat. This way, we can help preserve the remaining quokka population and ensure that they will be around for a very long time to come.
© Alex Godley | 2021
Alex is a writer, editor and photographer based in Australia.
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