Fence plan to drive quokkas off golf course
Australia already had a fence almost four times the length of Great Britain to keep dingoes in the desert. Then it built the world’s longest unbroken barrier to stop rabbits getting on to farmland.
Now it is to erect a quokka fence to keep what many consider to be the world’s happiest animal from the the golf course. The small marsupials have left the wilderness on Rottnest Island, where they are predominantly found, and colonised the new £1.2 million irrigated golf course. Food is so abundant that almost 2,000 quokkas have moved in and sped up their breeding cycle.
The Rottnest Island Authority will spend about £200,000 on a quokka-proof fence around the golf course. Paul Papalia, the Western Australia tourism minister, confirmed that taxpayers would have to fund the fence.
The course, which is “greened” using waste water from the island’s sewage treatment plant, attracts about 3,000 golfers a year, well below the 22,000 predicted before it opened three years ago. However, it has proved more popular with the quokkas; females are having two offspring a year rather than the usual one and there are fears that the island does not have the environmental capacity to handle such a big population.