Unbelievable nature! How nature regenerates and adapts to the environment: why we love quokkas

We love the natural world. It is phenomenal. Nature knows how to survive and thrive and in nature there is no such thing as ‘waste’. As a startup, reducing our impact and working with, rather than against nature is where we want to be. It's where we take our inspiration from – for our designs, our ethics and values. This is why we'd like to share some of our favourite nature stories in our "Unbelievable nature" series. And what better place to start than with the amazingly wonderful and super cute quokka! Written by Leigh, our Product Design Manager. Go grab a cuppa and take 5 for yourself...

Flora and Fauna

Animals and their surroundings are interdependent, having developed outstanding relationships over the course of time. “Flora and fauna” is used often to describe ecosystems, but did you know that “flora” actually refers to the Roman goddess of flowers whilst “fauna” is the Roman goddess of fertility? Adopted by biologists to describe indigenous plant and animal life, you don't have to be spiritual to recognise the importance of these terms for our planet. But it helps ;O)

Australia - a delicate and unique ecosytem

In our "Unbelievable nature" series, we'll explore some of the wonderful plants and wildlife that keeps our planet going round. It seems apt to start with Australia following the heartbreaking wildfire outbreak over the past few months. Australia is known to have a delicate, unique ecosystem. In fact, it is estimated that over 90% of the animals and plant species in the country and endemic. One of these animals is the adorable quokka.

Quokkas - eats young shoots and leaves...

The quokka is famous for having a smile on its’ face, and is a firm favourite with tourists looking for that special selfie. They are found in Western Australia, primarily on Rottnest Island but also on some other islands and on the mainland. They are specialists at picking their habitats – in fact, they will seek out areas which have suffered fires in the previous decade. This provides them with fresh, young shoots of grasses and leaves which they love.

Within the shrubland that they tend to inhabit, they will create pathways through the vegetation which gets them to their food sources efficiently whilst providing a quick escape from any predators, such as the dingo. They are even capable of climbing trees!

Adapting to the environment

They have adapted to their environments, and there are noticeable differences between those who live on the mainland and those on islands. Quokkas prefer a warm climate generally, but have adapted to cope with the more obvious seasons on islands. The breeding seasons even differ – on Rottnest island the quokka don’t seem to breed between September and December, producing one joey each year, whilst on the mainland they will breed year round and produce two young.

The quokka is listed as vulnerable, and this is thought to be more recently related to human activity. The introduction of the European red fox less than 100 years ago decimated some populations, whilst habitat destruction for development has also reduced habitats.

The quokka is a unique species, thriving in areas where bushfires have previously ravaged and adapting to their habitat, be it on the huge expanse of Australia’s mainland or on an island only 19km2 in area.

So there you have it. A little introduction to the cuteness and continued survival of the quokka. As humans, we can learn so much from these little guys and gals. They know how to adapt to their surroundings, making the most of what's available. To preserve our planet, we absolutely have to do this. We need to work with, not against, mother nature. And, of course they do it with a smile on their face...