used with permission by A Taste of Travel


Quokkas are a small marsupial and are quite low on the food chain. They eat grass, leaves, seeds roots, and small shrubs; making them a primary consumer. Primary consumers are eaten by secondary consumers, unfortunately for the quokka; it makes a tasty snack for any larger or smaller predator like the bearded dragon.

Cats and dogs often make meals of the quokka; this is why quokkas are not found in the mainland of Australia where cats and dogs are heavily domesticated by humans. On the Rottnest Island and Perth, some predators include large birds, foxes, and dingoes (Quokka et al., 2006). There are no known predators on the Bald Island; this also where the population of quokkas is the highest due to low predation.
            Quokkas are rather passive and mellow towards each other, putting up with each other and not fighting for territory often, and families sleep together. The families are set up by a dominance hierarchy that is very stable. The families are controlled by the males, and they only fight to get better shelter during the hot summer months (Quokka et al., 2013).
            Quokkas live in families of 25-150, often because quokkas tend to live near water sources and families territories overlap. Ranges of families overlap more during the summer months when water sources get scarce. They have runways and tunnels through dense grass and undergrowth that go directly to food and water from their shelters (Nocon et al., 2003).
            In the 1800’s when the European settlers first found the quokka, they were hunted very heavily just like the beaver in North America. Today, Quokkas are being further hurt by humans because of the urbanization in Australia is leading to the loss of habitat.
The Quokkas habitat is also often destroyed by feral pigs that keep them from marshes (IUCN et al., 2013). Prescribed burnings and clearing are a problem for the forested habitats, mostly on the mainland of Australia (IUCN et al., 2013). Quokkas occur in a number of protected areas and are listed as a threatened species under Australian lax. (IUCN et al., 2013)
Under the Australian protection, quokkas have a fairly stable population, and in the remaining three spots Quokka are found quokkas are very friendly to humans. Because the quokkas are a source of tourism on the Rottnest Island, humans often feed them and want pictures of the happiest marsupial on earth.

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