Backyard Buddies
Quokka

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Quokka

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The Quokka is a type of small wallaby. It has thick greyish brown fur with lighter brown under surfaces. It has a brown face, short rounded ears, black eyes and a black nose. Its feet, paws and short tail are brown. The males are bigger than the females.

Quokkas sleep during the day in small groups amongst dense vegetation, becoming very active at night, when they gather around water holes with up to 150 other individuals.

Around 10,000 Quokkas live on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, but very small populations also survive on the mainland’s south-west forests. Overall the species is listed as vulnerable due to predation by feral animals (cats and foxes), altered fire patterns and habitat loss.

Quokkas are herbivores, generally eating a variety of native grasses, leaves, seeds, roots and shrubs. However, they are able to rely on stored fats in their tails for energy during periods of time when food is scarce.

As anyone who has been to Rottnest would know, fresh water is in short supply, so it’s just as well that Quokkas can survive on very little of it – lasting up to a month without a drink. They also have a remarkable ability to regulate their body temperature, being able to cope with temperatures as high as 44°C.

Quokkas have a short breeding season which happens in late summer. Just 27 days after mating, a female can give birth to a single pink, hairless and blind joey, that stays in her pouch for up to 30 weeks.

Quokkas love:

But they don’t like:

Try to:

Avoid:

Although Quokkas don’t visit our backyards, they need our help to keep their habitat clean and healthy. Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife runs Backyard Buddies – to give you tips to help our wonderful wildlife.

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