Papua New Guinea
Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native )
Body Length 1.8-2.6ft; 55-77cm Tail Length 2.3-2.8ft; 70-84.5cm
The slender bodies of the tree kangaroo have short fur that is usually woolly and is colored chestnut brown or red-brown to crimson. They have double longitudinal stripes on the back and a paler belly. The tail has light spots or rings, and the feet are yellow. The face is gray-brown and the neck and cheeks are often yellow. Tree kangaroos also have a vortex of hair in the middle of their back.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Average mass: 7400 g.
Habitat and Ecology
Dense tropical forests from sea level to nearly 10,000 feet in altitude are home to the tree kangaroo. They primarly live in trees or closed forest areas over mountainous ranges. They are restricted to the rainforest.
Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest
Tree kangaroos emerge at night to feed from the leaves of the Silkwood, a range of fruits, and even cereals along the forest edges. Large quantities of low-nutrient value leaves are ingested. They also eat flowers and grass, which are digested in their sacculated stomachs by fermenting bacteria.
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Status: captivity: 23.6 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
All female kangaroos have a well-developed pouch that opens forward and contains four teats. The gestation period is 21 to 38 days. As a rule, there is one young per birth. The average reproduction rate is slightly higher than one young per year. The unpredictable rate of reproduction is due to the irregularly changing weather conditions in their habitat. A few hours before parturition, the mother begins to clean the pouch by licking it thoroughly. Finaly, she sits down with her tail brought forward between her legs and squats with her back rounded. The single newborn emerges from the cloaca, rupturing the fetal membranes in the process, and climbs into the pouch with no assistance from its mother, where it grows for the next ten to twelve months. A joey continuse to nurse for several months after permanently leaving the pouch, returning frequently to its mother for milk, which it obtains only from "its own" teat.
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
Average gestation period: 45 days.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Dendrolagus goodfellowi
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Dendrolagus goodfellowi
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Endangered (EN)
- 1994Endangered (E)
- 1990Vulnerable (V)
- 1988Vulnerable (V)
- 1986Vulnerable (V)
- 1982Vulnerable (V)
Much of the original rainforest habit has been destroyed by the extensive clearing of lowland rainforest. Those tree kangaroos still suriving in highland forest have had to contend with logging operations which markedly limit their distribution. Their survival seems to have only been assured by the reasonable numbers in National Parks and reserves and also by the almost complete absence of any large tree-climbing predators or competitors. Goodfollow's tree kangaroos are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, and there are no accurate estimates of the number of each species which survives in the wild. They are primarily threatened by hunting for meat and habitat destruction from logging, mining, oil exploration, and agriculture.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) also called the ornate tree-kangaroo, belongs to the family Macropodidae, which includes kangaroos, wallabies and their relatives, and the genus Dendrolagus, with eleven other species. The species is native to the rainforests of New Guinea, and the border of central Irian Jaya in Indonesia. Under the IUCN classification, the species is listed as Endangered, which is a result of overhunting and human encroachment on their habitat. It is named after British zoological collector Walter Goodfellow.
Description and taxonomy
Like other tree-kangaroos, Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo is quite different in appearance from terrestrial kangaroos. Unlike its land dwelling cousins, its legs are not disproportionately large compared to its forelimbs which are strong and end in hooked claws for grasping tree limbs, and it has a long tail for balance. All of these features help it with a predominantly arboreal existence. Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo has short, woolly fur, usually chestnut to red-brown in color, a gray-brown face, yellow-colored cheeks and feet; a pale belly, a long, golden brown tail, and two golden stripes on its backside. It weighs approximately 7 kg (about 15 lb).
- Dendrolagus goodfellowi goodfellowi
- Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi – Buergers' tree-kangaroo
Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo is slow and clumsy on the ground, moving at about walking pace and hopping awkwardly, leaning its body far forward to balance the heavy tail. However, in trees it is bold and agile. It climbs by wrapping its forelimbs around the trunk of a tree and hopping with the powerful hind legs, allowing the forelimbs to slide. It has extraordinary jumping ability and has been known to jump to the ground from heights of 30 feet without ill effect.
Although it feeds mainly on the leaves of the Silkwood tree (Flindersia pimenteliana), other morsels are accepted when available, including various fruits, cereals, flowers and grasses. It has a large stomach that functions as a fermentation vat, similar to the stomachs of cows and other ruminant herbivores, where bacteria break down fibrous leaves and grasses.
At Melbourne Zoo, Australia
- Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 59–60. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
- Leary, T., Seri, L., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Salas, L. (2008). Dendrolagus goodfellowi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as endangered
- Myers, P. (2001). "Macropodidae". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2006-08-05.
- Animal Info (1999-2005). Animal Info - Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (2006). Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo - captive breeding program. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
- Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2009-09-28). The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 158–9. ISBN 978-0-8018-9304-9. OCLC 270129903.
- Melbourne Zoo (2006). Animal Fact Sheet: Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
- Discovery Communications Inc. (2006). Goodfellow's tree kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
- World Wildlife Fund (2006). Tree Kangaroos. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
- "Goodfellow's tree kangaroo". Funk & Wagnalls Wildlife Encyclopedia 20. New York, N.Y.: Funk and Wagnalls. 1974. p. 2397.
- Johnson, S. (1999). "Dendrolagus goodfellowi". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2006-08-03.
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