Quokkas are small, endearing marsupials that are native to Western Australia, and considered by many to be the world’s happiest creature. Due to their friendly and curious nature, they have become highly sought after as a top tourist attraction. This article will provide an overview of quokkas and discuss some of the interesting facts that make them such an intriguing animal.
What is a Quokka?
A quokka is a small herbivorous marsupial from the macropod family, which also includes wallabies and kangaroos. They are endemic to Rottnest Island near Western Australia, although it is believed that a few small colonies exist in some areas of the mainland. Quokkas have a cat-like face, thick set body, rounded ears and a longish, thick tail, and can grow up to 75 cm in length. They are nocturnal animals, spending the days sheltered from the sun and emerging at night to feed.
Interesting Facts About Quokkas
• Quokkas have a variety of interesting habits and behaviors that make them a fascinating species to observe and study. Here are a few fascinating facts about quokkas:
• Quokkas live up to 10 years in the wild, and up to 12 years in captivity.
• Quokkas are a social species and often form groups of up to 20 individuals.
• Quokkas are one of the few species of marsupial that can swim.
• Quokkas often make “purring” noises that sound like a cat purring.
• Quokkas can leap up to 3 meters in order to escape predators.
• Quokkas are the only species that has been observed displaying true altruism in the wild.
Why are Quokkas the Happiest Creature on Earth?
Often dubbed the “happiest creature on Earth”, quokkas are renowned for their friendly and curious nature. They are often seen wandering around exploring their environment, whilst never afraid to approach humans. Quokkas have been known to interact with humans in amusing ways, such as when greeted with a smile, some will even give a smile back. This, in combination with their tendency towards peacefulness, is the reason why quokkas are often described as “happy” by tourists and those who come across them.
Diet of Quokkas
As herbivorous animals, quokkas’ diet consists of native vegetation such as grasses and succulent plants. Quokkas have also been known to eat fruits and vegetables. They get most of the water they need from the plants they consume.
Conservation of Quokkas
Despite its reputation as the happiest animal on Earth, quokkas are considered to be a vulnerable species, with a population estimated to be fewer than 10,000 in the wild. Most of the quokka population is concentrated on Rottnest Island and the small mainland colonies are at risk due to habitat fragmentation and predation by foxes and cats. The conservation of quokkas is an important issue in Australia and organizations such as the Rottnest Island Authority and the Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife are actively monitoring and protecting quokka populations.
Quokkas in the Media
In recent years, quokkas have become an internet sensation, with many photographs of their friendly faces appearing online. As well as this, quokkas have gained international attention after appearing in television shows and movies, such as in “Finding Dory” and “Happy Feet 2”.
In conclusion, quokkas are unique and friendly animals that have become a popular internet sensation. As a vulnerable species, it is important that their population is protected and monitored. This is why organizations such as the Rottnest Island Authority and the Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife are actively monitoring and protecting quokka populations, in the hope that they will be able to live in harmony with humans for many years to come.