IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Dendrolagus ursinus

Dendrolagus ursinus is a little-known and vulnerable species. Commonly known as the White-Throated Tree Kangaroo or the Vogelkop Tree Kangaroo, D. ursinus was the first tree kangaroo described (1836; Groves, 1982). Dendrolagus ursinus is one of twelve species in the genus. They make their home in the trees on the Vogelkop Peninsula New Guinea. It can be identified by a mostly black body and a streak of white hair that runs up its throat. Its white throat is a key characteristic for identifying this species, hence the common name. They are short footed, with large ears and a shorter tail than other dendrolagids (Groves, 1982). Tree kangaroos are known to be primarily herbivores; they eat leaves, ferns, bark, flowers and fruits (Edwards and Ward, 2001). This species is suffering due to human forces, such as high hunting pressure and deforestation. This has resulted in at least a 30 % decrease in population over the last 30 years (Leary et al, 2008). Populations of this species are now found in remote areas not usually accessed by humans (Leary et al., 2008). Dendrolagus ursinus is a unique species to New Guinea, and is poorly known because of its seclusion and the sparse amount of information that has been collected. Because of human pressures and their unique ecologies, tree kangaroos are the most endangered mammal group in New Guinea (Porolak, 2008).


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