How Selfies Helped Protect a Threatened Species

How Selfies Helped Protect a Threatened Species


– [Narrator] This fuzzy
little creature is a quokka. And these guys live
here off the west coast of Australia on Rottnest Island. Quokkas are not only cute,
they are camera ready. And they’re taking the internet by storm. So, let’s start at the beginning. What is a quokka? – A quokka is a small wallaby. It comes from the same
family as a kangaroo. And physically they’ve
got thick brown fur, they’ve got long tails
and they hop around. Quokkas thrive on Rottnest Island because they don’t have
any predators over here, so there’s no foxes. We have the largest viable
population of about 10,000. – [Narrator] Oh, sorry, and you are? – My name’s Cassyanna Gray,
and I’m a conservation officer on Rottnest Island. In my role I’m responsible for managing conservation programs. – [Narrator] And there’s one online trend that has really helped these animals. A quokka selfie. But make sure you’re getting it right. How to take a quokka selfie. Step one: a camera. Step two: a quokka. – But don’t touch the quokkas. – [Narrator] Ah, no. – Or feed them. It’s $150 fine. – [Narrator] These guys
don’t need the food. They naturally graze their way through the island’s vegetation. – And they also really love
the seedlings that we plant as part of our re-vegetation projects that we have implemented by
our environment technicians. – [Narrator] Sorry about that guys. Thanks for all your hard work. And what makes these guys
so great for taking selfies? – [Cassyanna] Around the
settlement areas the quokkas are a lot friendlier; they’ve
become used to people, so their natural behaviors change. But out in the reserve
where they’re actually still exhibiting their natural behavior, they will be a lot more wary of people. – [Narrator] We have to know, are they actually smiling in photos? – [Cassyanna] Yeah, they’re
not actually smiling in the photos, it’s just the
natural shape of their mouth, which comes up at the side, which makes them look
like they’re smiling. The popularity of the quokka selfie has given us the opportunity
to be able to raise awareness about the quokka’s
particularly on the mainland that are under threat. So we use that as a platform
to educate the public and also educate them about appropriate interaction with wildlife. – [Narrator] So finally,
a good cause for selfies. (upbeat music)

81 Replies to “How Selfies Helped Protect a Threatened Species”

  1. Ohhhh, I wish we could pet them but it's probably cause it may spread disease… So glad for conservation efforts like this!! <3

  2. There is also a peacock which has been living on the island alone for the last few years. He's the last one because the females were removed several years ago due to breeding issues. He can be seen in the main settlement sometimes

  3. I know this is supposed to be a happy story but it just shows how vain people are, we care about this animal because we can take a fucking selfie with it

  4. Can we just take a moment to admire how perfectly the circle at the end ( 2:13) goes around that round boye?

  5. Your vids are so well made. I think if you made them longer, they could be TV-Worthy. Not that they aren’t great already! Keep up the great vids!

  6. Unfortunately people feed and touch them. Quokkas are actually not meant to be awake in the day time but now come out to be fed. They also have diseases 🙁

  7. I discovered this channel yesterday and got instantly hooked, i don't know why but this videos make me smile, make me happy, they show something its really rare to come across nowadays, wether its a about someones culture or practice, or even about nature itself, it tells a beautifull story, that show that our planet has little things that have an immeasurable worth, and the good that people can do, it really tells a great big story
    Thank you for doing this videos

  8. looking forward to some Asians smuggling some over seas in their luggage and breeding them to eat, and for Americans to have as "exotic" pets

  9. Whatdoyaknow? Public awareness and education really works. I've never heard of a quokka until now. Thanks GREAT BIG STORY!

  10. Of course I have to live in NSW which is pretty far away if I road trip there ( Im not paying for a flight to get to them Im sorry)

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