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Rottnest Island (Wadjemup in Noongar, colloquially known as Rotto) is a 19-square-kilometre (7.3 sq mi) 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 is an unincorporated area with no local government, subject to direct administration by the government of Western Australia. It is administered by the state's Rottnest Island Authority, which on 1 July 2017 became part of the newly created Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Rottnest is a popular destination, and there are daily services from Perth, the state's capital and largest city. It has a permanent population of around 300 people, with around 780,000 annual visitors (and up to 15,000 visitors at a time during peak periods).
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.
Along with several other islands, Rottnest became separated from the mainland around 7,000 years ago, when sea levels rose.
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