The quokka has a similar appearance to a kangaroo, and it is native to Western Australia. In Western Australia, there are about 10,000 quokkas. The quokkas have adapted to a variety of habitats, but they prefer dense vegetation and moist conditions. Large numbers of quokkas survive in arid and harsh environments in Australia. During the hot days, they are commonly found seeking shade around swamps. The Australian mainland only has small populations, while Rottnest Island is home to thousands. Many people on the mainland thought the quokkas were extinct, but actually they are thriving in a different part of the country. During the day, this animal sleeps, and it becomes very active at night.
The quokka's diet consists of grass, seeds, leaves and roots. Some quokkas are held in captivity for breeding year-round. In the wild, they begin their breeding season in January and end it in March. The quokka's young is called a joey. Today, the quokka's habitat is being disrupted due to the island's being developed for recreational purposes. They are being classified as a vulnerable species because they are in danger of losing their natural habitat. The Perth Zoo in Australia is breeding quokkas in captivity to help increase their populations.
Conservation efforts are allowing the quokkas to show signs of recovery. Visitors are also encouraged not to feed them. The quokkas have short tails with small heads that have a stripe on the forehead. They have ears that are short and rounded and their noses are naked and not covered with fur. They have very strong hind legs that allow them to hop and climb. They love to climb trees. They can live in an environment that is devoid of fresh water. This is because they have unique feeding and digestive adaptations.
Their family groups are dominated by males, who fight for the best shelter. They love to gather around water holes in large groups. The quokkas can extract water from cacti and dig their own water holes. The quokka is a species that can go a few months without a drink of water. This is due to their unique ability to reuse their waste products. At one time, the quokkas were found in large numbers in south western Australia, but a predator called the European red fox caused their populations to decrease in that area. Increased spread of diseases from humans is another threat to their populations today.