The name 'quokka' comes from the name the Aboriginal people of that part of the southwest called it. Naturalist, John Gilbert in 1840,noted the Aboriginal name 'quokka' when he witnessed a 'quokka hunt` being carried out by traditional owners of the region, the Bibbulmum people.
In the wild, its roaming is restricted to a very small range in the South-West of Western Australia.
The Quokka has become rare, but is found in a number of small scattered populations on the mainland, one large population on Rottnest Island and smaller populations on Bald Island, Garden Island and Penguin Island. The islands are free of foxes and cats. On Rottnest Island it is common, and occupies a variety of habitats ranging from semi-arid scrub to cultivated gardens.
A soon to be released scientific report by mammal experts in the Department of Environment and Conservation, warns of mainland quokka extinction if their forest habitat is not protected.