For the second year in a row we went to Rottnest Island for a winter holiday. Rottnest sits just offshore of Perth (18kms) and is a favourite holiday location for locals and tourists alike. Being surrounded by water, the island is actually warmer than Perth, but you hope for sunny spells and not too much rain!
The most well known wildlife at Rottnest is the marsupial Quokka (Setonix brachyurus). They can be easily found especially in the main settlement and have become famous worldwide for the ‘Quokka selfie’. If you google it some 400k results show – with some celebrity examples in there!
They are small macropod (kangaroo family – macropod means big feet in latin). It’s not widely known, but they can also be found on the mainland. Due to habitat loss, changing fire patterns and mainly predation by introduced feral foxes & cats, they are hard to find and populations are vulnerable.
They are very cute, aclimitised to people, and very photogenic.
This quokka was found in the settlement eating a fig leaf while its joey had a nibble as well – cute!
The other mammal that can be seen at Rottnest is the New Zealand Fur Seal at a resident colony at Cathedral Rocks on the western side of the island. See my previous blog for more information as I didn’t visit it this time.
The other wildlife attraction on the island is birding. There are extensive salt lakes and often rare birds are sighted. There are also a few sub-species of reptiles endemic to the island but as it was winter none were observed.
I went for a walk one day and saw a number of birds.
What better way to end with a pic of a Quokka taking a snooze. They tuck their tails under themselves!