The Quokka

An Australian Marsupial

Classification

Kingdom:Animalia

Phylum:Chordata

Class:Mammalia

Order:Diprotodontia

Family:Macropodidae

Genus:Setonix

Scientific Name:Setonix brachyurus

Common Name:Quokka

Key Information

Native to the south-west of Australia and only found on two islands off the south-west coast, Quokkas are one of the worlds's smallest Wallaby species that are usually found in forests, open woodlands, and other areas that are close to water such as a swamp. A Wallaby is a medium sized marsupial closely related to the Kangaroo, Australia's largest marsupial. It is different from other Wallabies because of it's barely-furred tail, small hind legs, as well as it's tendency to browse for food instead of grazing. The Quokka's ancestry is still not completely known for sure, but most people can agree that they are related to the Rock Wallaby. The Quokka has a very round and compact body, their hind legs and tails are short, however they are very fast creatures. They can hop through thick plants and tall grass with immense speed. Known and admired for it's adorable smile and friendly nature towards humans, Quokkas are loved all around the world. They are very sociable animals who live in small families and although they usually share their habitats peacefully, territorial fights between males are not unheard of. Breeding season is between January and March, Quokka babies, or joeys, feed off of their mother's milk for about the first 6 months of their lives.They do not mate for life and once they reach sexual maturity at about 10 months of age, they have different mates every mating season. The Quokka is a nocturnal animal that comes out at night to browse for food hidden in the tall grass. It is an Herbivore, meaning it only eats plants, mostly it consumes grass, leaves, fruits, and berries when they are available.

Threats to the Quokka's Survival.

The most deadly threat to the Quokka species are humans. European colonists brought over some of the quokka's major predators such as cats, dogs, and foxes. In addition to human settlements destroying much of the habitat, they also attracted other, native, predators such as dingoes and birds of prey. Because of this, the number of quokkas has majorly dropped and they are restricted to small pockets of their natural habitats on the mainland of Australia.

Endangered Status

The Quokka is listed by the IUCN on the Red List, this means that it is a vulnerable in it's surrounding environment. There are fines on feeding the quokka, even though resisting the urge to do so can be a difficult task because of their cute smile and trusting attitude towards humans (as exemplified in the videos below), but not feeding them is important because human food can harm them and it makes them less motivated to get food from their natural habitat.
How to Pronounce Quokka
Quokka trying to get my camera, Rottnest Island, WA.
Quimby, the Curious Little Quokka