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Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people, and otherwise colloquially known as Rotto) is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Fremantle. A sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land. Together with Garden Island, Rottnest Island is a remnant of Pleistocene dune ridges.The island covers 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi) and is administered by the Rottnest Island Authority under a separate act of parliament. Rottnest is a popular destination, and there are daily services to Perth, the state's capital and largest city. It has a permanent population of around 300 people, with around 500000 annual visitors (and up to 15000 visitors at a time during peak periods).
On 28 April 2017, the government of Western Australia announced that the Department of Parks and Wildlife would merge with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, the Zoological Parks Authority, and the Rottnest Island Authority on 1 July 2017 to form the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.Rottnest is well known for its population of quokkas, a small native marsupial found in very few other locations. The island is also home to colonies of Australian sea lions and southern fur seals. A number of native and introduced bird species nest near the shallow salt lakes in the island's interior, and Rottnest has consequently been designated an Important Bird Area. The island has three native tree species, notably the Rottnest Island pine, and was heavily forested before settlement.
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