Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Study finds Rottnest Island quokkas thrive despite increased tourism

Study finds Rottnest Island quokkas thrive despite increased tourism
March 30, 2017

The quokkas of Western Australia’s Rottnest Island, dubbed the happiest animal in the world and the inspiration for an online selfie craze that took the internet by storm, are thriving – even in the face of increased tourism – according to a new study.

While unfortunate cases of tourists abusing the happy looking marsupial have hit the headlines over the past year, University of Western Australia researcher Veronica Phillips has discovered that despite significant development and an increase in human activity on the island, quokkas have been thriving.

Undertaken as part of her PhD studies, the first thorough study of the island's quokkas in almost 40 years, has seen Phillips trap and track the animals across four different habitat types in an attempt to gauge the size and health of the population.

Phillips told the ABC "we found that on Rottnest Island, quokkas are highly adaptable to tourism development and in fact they benefit from it.

“Most people would think tourism and its associated development would be detrimental to a species, but on Rottnest Island it looks like it's actually helping the species.

"Although being at a high density, they can tend to fight a lot more, there's a lot more stress on the population so there are some negative effects associated with that as well."

Following an article on The Huffington Post website in 2012, the online quokka selfie craze has seen the number of tourists visiting Rottnest increase by 20%.

The Rottnest Island Authority's (RIA) Holly Knight said the marsupials had seen a meteoric rise in popularity from when early Europeans first arrived on the island in 1658 and mistook them for huge rats.

Knight stated “now they're one of the most well-known animals on social media.

"It's an incredibly friendly animal that attracts more and more international visitors every year."

While the RIA had been unable to draw a direct link between the internet trend and tourist numbers, it suspects the quokka has become the island's biggest drawcard.

Knight added “we know that there's a huge community out there on social media who say they're coming to the island to see the quokka.”

RIA marketing coordinator Natasha Marti has been monitoring the level of online engagement around the animal and the quokka selfie phenomenon.

She explained "in 2016, we reached about 671 million social media users, and that equates to about $6.2 million in advertising value.

"That sort of exposure gives us an opportunity to really protect and conserve the island in the way that we want to.

“And yes, we have more visitors coming, but we really want to use that to promote the island as a conservation destination."

She also said there was a spike in online engagement when quokkas appeared in the news for the wrong reasons - such as when a 37-year-old man was charged by police earlier this month after it was claimed he tossed a quokka into the ocean.

25th September 2015  - GATEWAY TICKETING SYSTEMS PROVIDES TICKETING POINT OF SALE SYSTEM AT ROTTNEST ISLAND 

14th August 2015 - PLANS FOR NEW RESORT AND MARINA AT WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S ROTTNEST ISLAND 

13th April 2015 - TOURISTS CHARGED AFTER ALLEGED ATTEMPTING TO BURN A QUOKKA ON ROTTNEST ISLAND

29th November 2014 - 2015 GLOBAL ECO CONFERENCE HEADS TO ROTTNEST ISLAND

2nd October 2014 - ROTTNEST ISLAND TOPS LIST OF DESTINATIONS TO EXPERIENCE IN 2014


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

Digonex

Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

GREENEDESK

Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business