The Quokka is a small marsupial. It is very much like the wallaby and tree kangaroo of Australia. The Quokka is very active after dusk and during the night, and very often sleep in small groups during the where they find shelter in dense vegetation.
At night time up to 150 adults converge on waterholes in a social gathering of sorts. Quokkas are very social animals.
Found plentifully on Rottnest Island off Australia, the current population on the island is estimated to be over 10,000.
They were thought to be extinct on the mainland of Australia, but now small colonies are starting to stabilize and expand.
Rottnest Island about ten miles from the capital of Australia was named by a Dutch explorer who thought that the Quokkas were actually large rats as he sailed past the island. Rats Nest Island became Rottenest Island.
The Quokkas head is broad and short, with a dark stripe on the forehead. They have rounded ears covered by fur.
The body has long thick shaggy fur normally colored brown or grey speckled.
Its hind feet are covered with stiff long hairs and are very much like those of a kangaroo.
The tail is short and is smooth with very little hair on it.
It feeds at night on 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 body’s 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 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.
Find out more about the Quokka over at Wikipedia »