'I pledge to let you stay wild': New message for Maria Island visitors to respect native wildlife

The typically docile nature of wombats has made them a target of selfies by tourists.
The typically docile nature of wombats has made them a target of selfies by tourists.

A NEW “pledge” for Maria Island visitors urges them to give the native wildlife space – and keep the selfie sticks away from wombats.

Island visitors will be greeted with signs displaying the message when they arrive.

It is unclear if the measure is in response to a specific incident, or that taking a selfie with some of Australia’s more docile – and adorable – native wildlife is becoming a common trend.

When Roger Federer visited Rottnest Island in WA last year and took a selfie with a quokka, it resulted in a rush of tourists seeking the exact same experience.

About 150,000 tourists descend on Bruny Island per year thanks to its ‘Instagram appeal’ – a trend that is overflowing to other Tasmanian destinations such as Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay and Maria Island.

The Maria Island pledge has a simple message at its core.

“Wombats, when you trundle past me I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick, or get too close to your babies,” it reads.

“I will not surround you, or try and pick you up.

“I will make sure I don’t leave rubbish or food from my morning tea.

“I pledge to let you stay wild.”

You can read the pledge here and, you never know, there could be a message in there for Tasmanians too.