Protecting the western swamp tortoises in the Swan Valley wetlands is the theme behind a new book.

Margaret River Chocolate Co releases kids environment book

The new book promotes the conservation of the endangered western swamp tortoise.
May 30, 2024

THE Margaret River Chocolate Company has made its first foray into publishing with the release of an environmentally themed children’s book – Chokka and Swampy’s Wetland Rescue.

The locally written and produced book was officially launched by Environment Minister Reece Whitby at the company’s Swan Valley premises earlier this month.

It tells the story of a young western swamp tortoise ‘Swampy’ and his quokka bestie ‘Chokka’ who work with their friends to try and restore depleted wetlands in the Swan Valley.

The real Swan Valley wetlands are home to a small population of western swamp tortoises - one of Australia’s most endangered species - that were thought to be extinct until rediscovered in the Swan Valley in the 1950s.

Conservation efforts have since brought them back from the edge of extinction, with The Margaret River Chocolate Company being a major supporter and fundraiser for the not-for-profit friends of the western swamp tortoise (FoWST) for more than a decade.

Beautifully illustrated by Lesmurdie artist and designer Charmaine Cave, Chokka and Swampy’s Wetland Rescue is being sold at The Margaret River Chocolate Company’s outlets, as well as through the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre and not-for-profit organisations like the Rottnest Foundation and Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise.

Sales from the books and many of The Margaret River Chocolate Company’s endangered wildlife chocolate products help raise funds for conservation and research projects to help protect the numbat, quokka and western swamp tortoise, which are all local endangered species.

Mr Whitby said the book was a great way of showing kids the value of conservation and looking after our environment.

“I hope it plays a big part in raising awareness of Western Australia’s western swamp tortoise population, which Perth Zoo and the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions have put significant work into conserving through their successful breeding programs.”

Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise chairperson Jan Bant said the group was delighted to have been working with The Margaret River Chocolate Company for more than a decade to raise funds and awareness for the western swamp tortoise.

She said the company had donated tens of thousands of dollars towards conservation, research and awareness projects and the new book would not only raise more funds, but would also be a valuable resource tool in schools.

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