The local economy is firmly rooted in tourism, with ninety-five percent of the gross national product coming directly or indirectly from tourism-related industry. Despite its economic importance, tourism is strictly limited due to the unique ecology of the island, which is home to several species of flora and fauna not found elsewhere. Under Australian control, the island was protected as a Class A Natural Reserve, but as the island had fallen largely into disuse since the breakup of that country, such designation was deemed unnecessary by the Republic of Jerna. Since independence, the government has worked to preserve the wilderness areas on the island.
First discovered by Europeans in 1610, the island remained unnamed until 1681 when English captain and cartographer John Daniel labelled it Maiden's Isle on a map of the Western Australian Seaboard. The name was subsequently abandoned by Dutch settlers in exchange for Rottnest Island, a derivative of the Dutch Rattenest, after the quokka, a native marsupial which was believed to be a form of large rat. Subsequently claimed jointly by the Netherlands, France, and England, it was incorporated into the British Swan River Colony in 1830. Lakes on the island provided an invaluable source of salt for the mainland colony.
From 1839 until 1931, the island was used by the British colonizers, and, from 1901, by the Commonwealth of Australia, as a penal colony for the local Noongar Aboriginals who would not assimilate to British norms. During the First and Second World Wars, the island was established as an internment camp for enemy combatants.
Original text related to this article:
In 2006, the Commonwealth of Australia split into several factions, competing for resources and land. One of the most powerful of the factions, the People's Socialist Party, founded a state (now the Republic of Jerna) around the city of Bunbury which grew to incorporate most of Western Australia. By this time, Rottnest Island had fallen into disuse due to economic hardship, however, the new republic secured its claim over the island by re-establishing the Rottnest Island Authority. The Island adopted the Jernan Calendar, marking its year of incorporation as 2012.
In April 2009 (2015 under the Jernan Calendar), the Republic of Jerna broke into a civil war. The international community rushed to the support of the ousted government of President Arrnea, and Großgermania sent troops to the country to help oust the military junta. On 12 May, Jerna City was recaptured, and civil order restored to the Republic. Following a short series of discussions amongst the Government of Jerna, an agreement to sell the island to the King of Germany in perpetuity was signed on 15 May. The name Maiden's Isle was reinstituted by Michael von Preußen later that day.