Short-tailed pademelon, Short-tailed wallaby, Short-tailed scrub wallaby
The quokka (Setonix brachyurus), is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. In 1696, Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh mistook these animals for giant rats, and renamed the Wadjemup island 't Eylandt 't Rottenest, which means "the rat nest island" in Dutch.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
A frugivore is an animal that thrives mostly on raw fruits or succulent fruit-like produce of plants such as roots, shoots, nuts, and seeds. Approx...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Jumping (saltation) can be distinguished from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne by the relatively l...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
Island endemic animals are found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island. Animals or organisms that are indigenous to a place ar...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Generally, the quokka has a typical appearance for a wallaby: short, extremely coarse, and thick fur, which is grey-brown overall with lighter under part; short tail, which is mostly without hair; and hair of its feet, which extend to the claws. It has a stocky build, well developed hind legs, rounded ears, and a short, broad head. Its musculoskeletal system was originally adapted for terrestrial bipedal saltation, but over its evolution, its system has been built for arboreal locomotion.
This animal is endemic to Rottnest Island, located off Perth (Western Australia). The Quokkas also occur on the mainland, where the animals almost exclusively inhabit areas with dense vegetation around swamps, where they find shelter during hot days. The preferred environment of the Quokkas is humid areas with dense vegetation. However, they are able to live in different habitats, including sedge-dominated riparian areas, seasonally arid and harsh environments of Rottnest Island.
These highly sociable and communicative animals gather into small family groups. The leader of a Quokka group is the dominant male. Quokkas are non-territorial: there have been known cases of up to 150 individuals having overlapping home ranges and, generally, sharing them without conflicts. However, they occasionally do engage in fights, especially to get the most sheltered spots during hot days. These nocturnal animals spend most of the hot days resting. They typically find shelter in the shade of trees and are known to use the same resting spot every day. They feed by night, browsing for food and moving through high grass in order to remain unspotted. To move around quickly, they usually hop on their hind legs. As opposed to kangaroos and large wallabies, Quokkas do not use their tail to support them when moving slowly. Being terrestrial animals, Quokkas, however, are capable of climbing up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) when looking for food.
The diet of this herbivorous animal mainly consists of various grasses, growing along the tunnels they make through the dense vegetation. Quokkas also consume leaves and fruits. In addition, they can eat berries on occasion.
Quokkas have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system, where both the males and the females have a number of partners. The breeding season takes place during the cooler months, in January-March. The gestation period lasts for one month, yielding a single baby, which lives in the pouch of its mother for up to 30 weeks. After that, the joey begins to come out of the pouch and gradually starts exploring its surroundings. However, the young remains close to its mother and keeps on feeding upon maternal milk for over 8-10 weeks. Reproductive maturity is reached by one year old.
Presently, the primary concern to the population of this species is the recreational development of Rottnest Island, which is the main range of the Quokka. As a result, the animal suffers from the loss of its natural habitat as well as the risk of catching a human disease.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Quokka is estimated to be 7,850-17,150 mature individuals, including specific populations in the following areas: Rottnest Island - 4,000-8,000 animals; Bald Island - 500-2,000 Quokkas; Northern Jarrah forest - 150 animals; Southern forests - 2,000-5,000 individuals; South Coast - 1,200-2,000 animals. Currently, Quokkas are classified as Vulnerable (VU), and their numbers are decreasing.
Social animals are those animals that interact highly with other animals, usually of their own species (conspecifics), to the point of having a rec...