rottnest island: kingdom of the quokka

Discover Rottnest Island off the coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean and its unique inhabitant The Quokka.

programme information


2 x 60'

Production Company

Sea Dog TV International





Episode Information

Islands worldwide are grand experiments in nature, with their isolation creating unique conditions for animals to diverge from the norm. But some islands take evolutionary twists to the extreme. On the far west of the Australian continent with the limitless Indian Ocean beyond, there is a set of islands whose inhabitants defy all laws of nature. The three islands lie side by side, but each is ruled by a different animal. One by a unique marsupial, the second by a penguin and the third by one of the world’s most venomous snakes, as though evolution has divided the real estate equitably. And on the islands each animal has become stranger than ever – with a set of features so unique they are bizarre. One of the worlds ‘happiest’, yet most vulnerable marsupials, the Quokka thrives only on Rottnest Island. In almost plague proportions over ten thousand of the strange relic wallabies live here. How do they survive here in such inhospitable conditions and nowhere else? In a world first, the entire life cycle of the Quokka will be filmed using special natural history filming techniques to expose the secrets of its survival mechanisms. On nearby Penguin Island, the name says it all. Over a thousand Little Penguins live here. Little Penguins are found no further north in the world, and the birds here are larger, with heavier beaks than anywhere else. How does a penguin designed for Antarctic waters survive in summers of forty-degree plus heat? Carnac Island is serpent heaven or hell! One of Australia’s most venomous snakes, the Tiger Snake has become a monster on Carnac Island, and bizarrely many have become blind. Over four hundred snakes live on this tiny island and they have no natural predators. Carnac Island is only sixteen hectares in size but has one of the highest density of venomous snakes ever recorded, with over twenty snakes per hectare. In a grand-experiment, things have taken a strange turn for the snakes on this island… Like the Galapagos, Rottnest and its surrounding islands hold secrets that defy reason. Only now will they be revealed with an exclusive and intimate look at the animal inhabitants and those intertwined in their lives on the islands and in the fringing ocean.

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