THE Easter bunny will have some tough competition this holiday long weekend as Chokka the Quokka makes his return to the Swan Valley.
A new Bilby and mini Chokka the Quokka chocolate animals are among a new range at the Margaret River Chocolate Company, available at the store’s Swan Valley location.
$2 from the sale of every quokka will be donated to the Rottnest Foundation for quokka conservation.
Margaret River Chocolate Company co-owner Martin Black predicted the chocolate version of the WA icon would continue to grow in popularity.
“Last year he was popular but this year I think we will see him become the most popular Easter product we sell,” he said.
“We want to promote uniquely local animals and for the quokka to become the new choice for locals.”
The inspiration for the quokka lead on from a similar chocolate initiative to raise funds for Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise to help preserve the last surviving of the breed native to the Swan Valley region.
“Because they live and breed in the Swan Valley we started making packs of chocolate tortoises,” Mr Black said.
“It worked so well, and we’re now where most of their fundraising comes from, that’s when we decided to expand to help another creature.
“Three years ago we decided to work with Rottnest Island to help quokka conservation efforts because of its uniqueness to WA and because it is a genetically vulnerable species.”
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson supported the initiative, now available for the first time on Rottnest Island.
“The quokka is such an important part of the character of Rottnest Island, but is a vulnerable species that we need to protect,” she said.
“Comprehensive monitoring will play a greater role in ensuring the future wellbeing of the quokkas on the island.
“I want to see more people get involved in conservation, and initiatives like this are a great way for the community to make a personal contribution to protect our quokkas.”
The Chokka the Quokka initiative has already helped raise more than $10,000 for the Rottnest Island Authority Quokka Monitoring Program.
The Swan Valley chocolate factory is open everyday over Easter with special giveaways, visits from the Easter bunny, and family activities.
By Claire Ottaviano