In March this year, the Rottnest Foundation and The Margaret River Chocolate Company joined forces to support the conservation and research of the unique and much loved furry Western Australian marsupials, Quokkas.
Rottnest Island has the largest population of Quokkas. When Dutch explorers first landed on the Island they thought the Quokkas were rats and named the Island “Rats Nest”, which later became Rottnest. In addition to the Rottnest Quokkas, the South West is home to three small colonies.
The Quokka species is listed as “vulnerable” under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 and on the ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species’.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company have created a chocolate quokka, fondly called ‘Chokka’ and have committed to donating part proceeds from each chocolate quokka sold to the Rottnest Foundation to provide much needed funding to support the protection of these endangered animals.
Recently, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) revealed the devastating impact of the 2015 Northcliffe bushfire on a key population of mainland quokkas that inhabited this area. It is believed that up to 90% of the animals perished in this catastrophic fire. Prior to the fire, this bushland was home to more than 500 quokkas. Yet today, only 39 can be accounted for.
There was an urgency to help save these remaining South West quokkas. To show their support, The Margaret River Chocolate Company provided a donation of $8250 to the WWF which has been used to purchase 30 new radio collars which will be enable tracking of the movements and locations of 30 of the surviving quokkas to help conserve the population into the future.
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The WWF have also called for public donations to fund 30 sensor cameras to monitor the marsupials and keep an eye on feral predators. If you would like to make a donation, please visit this link wwf.org.au/savequokkas
The Rottnest Foundation would like to thank The Margaret River Chocolate Company for helping the WWF in this time of need and also thank the WWF for their work in Quokka conservation down South.
The first donation from The Margaret River Chocolate Company to the Rottnest Foundation is expected in early 2017 and further details on ‘Chokka the Quokka’ will be released at that time.
Thank you to everyone who donates to help save the quokkas!
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‘Chokka the Quokka’ also has his own Facebook Page.