Quokka World’s Happiest Animal from Rottnest Island Australia

Quokka World’s happiest animal from Rottnest Island Western Australia. Smiling animal and very cute Australian animals so friendly happy face

The quokka Latin name is Setonix brachyurus, the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like other marsupials in the macropod family such as kangaroos and wallabies, the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal.

   
Meet the Quokka Australian Animals from Rottnest Island.

Quokka is found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, particularly Rottnest Island, just off Perth, and also Bald Island near Albany, and in isolated, scattered populations in the forest and coastal heath between Perth and Albany. A small colony exists at the eastern limit of their range in a protected area of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, where they co-exist with the critically endangered Gilbert’s potoroo.

  

  

Quokka World’s happiest animal

The quokka weighs 2.5 to 5.0 kg (5.5 to 11.0 lb) and is 40 to 54 cm (16 to 21 in) long with a 25-to-30 cm-long (9.8-to-11.8 in) tail, which is quite short for a macropod. It has a stocky build, well developed hind legs, rounded ears, and a short, broadhead. Its musculoskeletal system was originally adapted for terrestrial bipedal saltation, but over its evolution, its system has been built for arboreal locomotion. Although looking rather like a very small kangaroo, it can climb small trees and shrubs up to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in). Its coarse fur is a grizzled brown colour, fading to buff underneath. The quokka is known to live for an average of 10 years.

   
Quokka World’s happiest animal has a promiscuous mating system. After a month of gestation, females give birth to a single baby called a joey happiest animal. Females can give birth twice a year and produce about 17 joeys during their lifespan. The joey lives in its mother’s pouch for six months. Once it leaves the pouch, the joey relies on its mother for milk for two more months and is fully weaned around 8 months after birth. Females sexually mature after roughly 18 months. When a female quokka with a joey in her pouch is pursued by a predator, she may drop her baby onto the ground; the joey produces noises, which may serve to attract the predator’s attention, while the mother escapes.
  

  
Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting “a wild cat” on Rottnest Island in 1658. In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which comes from the Dutch word Rattennest, meaning “rat nest”.
The word “quokka” is derived from a Nyungar word, which was probably gwaga.

  

Meet the quokka – Ecology

In the wild, its roaming is restricted to a very small range in the south-west of Western Australia, with a number of small scattered populations. One large population exists on Rottnest Island and a smaller population is on Bald Island near Albany. The islands are free of certain predators such as foxes and cats. On Rottnest, quokkas are common and occupy a variety of habitats ranging from semiarid scrub to cultivated gardens. Prickly Acanthocarpus plants, which are unaccommodating for humans and other relatively large animals to walk through, provide their favourite daytime shelter for sleeping. Additionally, they are known for their ability to climb trees.

  

  

Diet & food

Meet the quokka. Like most macropods, quokkas eat many types of vegetation, including grasses and leaves. A study found that Guichenotia ledifolia, a small shrub species of the family Malvaceae, is one of the quokka’s favoured foods. Rottnest Island visitors are urged to never feed quokkas, in part because eating “human food” can cause dehydration and malnourishment, both of which are detrimental to the quokka’s health. Despite the relative lack of freshwater on Rottnest Island, quokkas do have high water requirements, which they satisfy mostly through eating vegetation. On the mainland, quokkas only live in areas that have 600 mm (24 in) or more of rain per year.
  

  

Population

At the time of colonial settlement, the quokka was widespread and abundant, with its distribution encompassing an area of about 41,200 km2 (15,900 sq mi) of south-west Western Australia, inclusive of the two offshore islands, Bald and Rottnest. Following extensive population declines in the 20th century, by 1992 the quokka’s distribution on the mainland was reduced by more than 50% to an area of about 17,800 km2 (6,900 sq mi).
  
Although numerous on the small, offshore islands, the quokka is classified as vulnerable. On the mainland, where it is threatened by introduced predatory species such as foxes, cats, and dogs, it requires dense ground cover for refuge. Clearfell logging, agricultural development, and housing expansion have reduced this habitat of the happiest animal, thus contributing to the decline of the species, as has the clearing and burning of the remaining swamplands. Moreover, quokkas usually have a litter size of one and successfully rear one young each year. Although these animals are constantly mating, usually one day after their young is born, the small litter size combined with the restricted space and threatening predators contribute to the scarcity of these marsupials on the mainland.
  
The quokka population on Rottnest Island is 8,000–12,000 (est. 2007). Snakes are the quokka’s only predator on the island. The population on smaller Bald Island, where the quokka has no predators, is 600–1,000. An estimated 4,000 quokka occur on the mainland, with nearly all mainland populations in groups of less than 50, although one declining group over 700 is found in the southern forest between Nannup and Denmark.
 
In 2015, an extensive bushfire near Northcliffe nearly eradicated one of the local mainland populations, with an estimated 90% of the 500 quokkas dying.
 
Meet the Quokka at the end of summer and into autumn, a seasonal decline of quokkas occurs on Rottnest Island, where the loss of vegetation and reduction of available surface water can lead to starvation.
 

Human interaction

The quokka happiest animal has little fear of humans and quokkas commonly approach people closely, particularly on Rottnest Island, where a prevalent population exists. Though quokka smiling has a reputation of being the happiest animal on Earth, annually, a few dozen cases of quokkas biting people, especially children, are reported. There are certain restrictions regarding feeding. It is illegal for members of the public to handle the animals in any way, and feeding, particularly of “human food”, is especially discouraged, as they can easily get sick. An infringement notice carrying a A$300 fine can be issued by the Rottnest Island Authority for such an offence. The maximum penalty for animal cruelty is a A$50,000 fine and a five-year prison sentence.
 
Quokkas can also be observed at several zoos and wildlife parks around Australia, including Caversham Park, Perth Zoo, Taronga Zoo, Wild Life Sydney, and Adelaide Zoo. Physical interaction is generally not permitted without explicit permission from supervising staff.
 
Quokka behaviour in response to human interaction has been examined in zoo environments. One brief study indicated fewer animals remained visible from the visitor paths when the enclosure was an open or walk-through environment. This may have been due to the quokkas acquiring avoidance behaviour of visitors, which the authors propose has implications for stress management in their exhibition to the public.
  

Quokka Smiling

Follow the Quokka visit Rottnest Island in Western Australia.
The Island habitat supports the largest known Quokka smiling population and is essential for the survival of species. There are around 10,000-12,000 of these animals living on Rottnest. At all times of the year, there is a high number of Quokkas in the Settlement area because there is lots of water and food available. They have become one of the main tourist attractions of Rottnest Island because they have a cute appearance and are easy to see.
  

Reproduction

Quokkas World’s happiest animal are able to breed from about eighteen months of age. After a month of gestation, females give birth to a baby called a joey. Females can give birth twice a year. The joey lives in its mother’s pouch for six months. Once it leaves the pouch, the joey relies on its mother for milk for two more months. At 1.5 years old, quokkas are old enough to have their own babies

  

Behaviour

The quokka World’s happiest animal has little fear of humans and it is common for it to approach humans closely, particularly on Rottnest Island which is seen with the Quokka smiling selfie viral internet sensation. It is, however, illegal for members of the public to handle the animals in any way on Rottnest Island. Their movements resemble a bounding gait interspersed with hopping and they are able to climb trees to reach a food source. Quokkas are most active at night feeding alone or in small groups and they can survive for long periods without food or water if need be.

  

Habitat

Mainland populations tend to be clustered around dense streamside vegetation but can also be found in shrubland and heath areas, particularly around swamps. They are restricted to the south-west region of Western Australia and are found on the mainland as well as on Rottnest Island and Bald Island. Their presence on the mainland has declined severely in the twentieth-century mainly because of feral predators like the fox and feral cats. Quokkas prefer a warm climate but are adapted to the seasonal variations on Rottnest Island.

  
Meet The quokka one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans. TheDutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting “a wild rat” on Rottnest Island in 1658. In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which comes from the Dutch word rattennest meaning “rat nest”.


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