Matschie's Tree Kangaroo
Dendrolagus matschiei (Foster & Rothschild, 1907)
Range: Huon Peninsula (Papua New Guinea)
Habitat: Montane Rainforest
Diet: Leaves, Fruits, Flowers, Buds. Sometimes will consume insects, eggs, small birds
Social Grouping: Solitary and territorial outside of breeding season. Ignore each other, even when they are in the same tree. Male territory overlaps those of several females
Reproduction: Mating usually takes place on the ground. No breeding season; female goes through estrous every 50-80 days. Gestation 40-45 days (longest of any marsupial). Joeys crawls into pouch right after birth; joey emerges from pouch for the first time at 250 days, leaves the pouch at 300 days, permanently at 350 days. Sexually mature at 2 years old.
Lifespan: 14 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Endangered
- Body length 55-63 centimeters, weight 6-13 kilograms. Stocky body - front- and back-legs closer in size than is the case with most kangaroos and wallabies. Tail equal in length to body
- Sexes look alike. Chestnut to red-brown fur; tail, belly, ears, and feet are yellow; dark stripe down the back. Face is yellow or white. Thick, dense fur grows in opposite directions on the back and neck, allowing water to run off the body
- Spend much of their time in the trees, may leap 9 meters between branches. Cannot climb down headfirst, must back down.
- Largely inactive, spend up to 60% of their days sleeping
- Zoo-based diets are often supplemented with tea leaves to replicate the high-tannin diets that they encounter in the wild
- Genus name translates to "Tree Rabbit." Species name honors Paul Matschie, a German zoologist who discovered several species of tree kangaroos.
- Also found on the island of Umboi, but is believed to have been intrdouced by humans
- Locally hunted for meat (which has increased since the introduction of guns to the region), but habitat loss is the major threat