Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

On the ground, Doria's tree kangaroo moves in a similar manner to its Australian relatives, making small leaps on its two hindfeet (4), while in the trees, this agile marsupial moves using all four limbs (2) (4). It travels along branches and trunks grasping the tree's limbs with its clawed forepaws and pushing with its broad feet (3), and can leap as much as nine metres downwards to a neighbouring tree (2). Doria's tree kangaroo spends much of its time in the relative safety of the trees, often sheltering in small groups during the day, but it will also frequently descend to the ground, by moving backwards down the trunk, or jumping impressive heights (up to 18 metres) down to the forest floor, without injury (2). Doria's tree kangaroo feeds whilst up in the trees, or down on the ground, consuming a diet of primarily leaves and fruit (2). As it moves about, the males may vigorously rub the large glands on their throat and chest against the tree branches and trunk (3) (6). The scented secretions that are left behind act as signposts to other tree kangaroos, providing information about an individual's identity and location (6). The gestation period in this species is thought to last for around 32 days, with just one tiny, undeveloped infant being born at a time (2). After climbing up the mother's fur into her pouch, the newborn tree kangaroo will clamp its mouth onto one of the four teats and remain there for the next 305 days, until it is developed enough to emerge (2).
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Description

Doria's tree kangaroo, the heaviest tree-dwelling marsupial in the world (2), is, despite appearances, closely related to the well-known kangaroos that can be found on the plains of Australia (3). Like the ground kangaroos, Doria's tree kangaroo has a long, well-furred tail, strongly developed hindquarters, and females have a forward-opening pouch in which the newborn infants develop (2) (3). Its fairly long fur is a shade of brown (2), with the fur on the neck and back growing in a reverse direction, thought to stop water running over the face of the tree kangaroo as it sits with its head lower than its shoulders (2). The large feet bear cushion-like pads covered with roughened skin, and some of the nails are curved. This, along with the tail which helps the tree kangaroo balance and brace itself when climbing, makes this species adept at living in the trees (2). The scientific name of Doria's tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus, is derived from Greek words 'dendron', meaning tree, and 'lagos' meaning hare (4).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to New Guinea, where it is found in the high elevations of the central mountains of southeastern Papua New Guinea. It ranges between 600 and 3,650 m asl.
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Range

Doria's tree kangaroo occurs only on the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), where it is found in the central highlands (5).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is restricted to mossy mid- to upper primary montane tropical forest.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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An inhabitant of mountainous rainforest, Doria's tree kangaroo occurs between 600 and 4,000 metres above sea level (2).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 19 years (captivity) Observations: In the wild these animals live about 8 years (Bernhard Grzimek 1990). One specimen was at least 19 years when it died in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A3cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A. & James, R.

Reviewer/s
Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable based on a projected population decline of more than 30% within the next three generations (i.e., 30 years), due to declines in habitat, and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
  • 1986
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
  • 1982
    Vulnerable
    (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
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Population

Population
It is generally rare and occurs at low densities. The productivity of its preferred habitat is low, resulting in a natural low population density.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by heavy hunting for food with dogs by local people. Future threats include habitat loss and degradation.
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While in some areas Doria's tree kangaroo is believed to still be common (5), intense and relentless hunting pressure for its flesh has led to many populations disappearing (4). Those inhabiting forest on lower, more accessible mountain slopes are particularly vulnerable to hunting (5), and with these populations vanishing, hunters will now venture higher and higher into the mountains (4), increasing pressure on populations that were once remote and secure (5). While in the past, hunting of this prized game species by local people may have been sustainable, advances in the equipment used in a hunt (such as steel axes to cut through the forest, and firearms to shoot the kangaroos out of the trees), in combination with a rising human population (5), has led to an increase in hunting that this Vulnerable marsupial may not be able to withstand. The threat of hunting is compounded by the loss and degradation of suitable forest habitat, which has been, and continues to be, exploited for timber in the central highlands where this tree kangaroo dwells (5).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in several protected areas. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy distribution, abundance, natural history, and threats to it.
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Conservation

The Doria's tree kangaroo is legally protected in the Indonesian part of New Guinea, but not in Papua New Guinea (5). This is unlikely to be sufficient to ensure the long-term survival of this Vulnerable species, and thus protection of the vital habitat in which Doria's tree kangaroo occurs has been recommended, as have measures to control or restrict traditional hunting (5).
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Wikipedia

Doria's tree-kangaroo

Doria's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus dorianus) is a tree-kangaroo found in montane forests of New Guinea at elevations between 600–3650m.[3] It is mostly solitary and nocturnal. The species was named in 1883 by Edward Pierson Ramsay in honour of Italian zoologist Giacomo Doria.[4]

One of the largest tree-kangaroo species, the Doria's weighs 6.5–14.5 kg, its length is 51–78 cm, with a long 44–66 cm tail. It has long dense brown fur with black ears and a pale brown or cream nonprehensile tail.[5] It has large and powerful claws and a stocky build that gives it a bear-like appearance.[4]

Its diet consists of various leaves, buds, flowers and fruits. The gestation period is about 30 days, after which, the single young remains in the mother's pouch for up to 10 months.[5]

Doria's is listed as vulnerable. Its forest habitat is threatened by logging and forest clearance. Being large sized, it is also hunted for its meat.[5]

References [edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 59. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A. & James, R. (2008). Dendrolagus dorianus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as vulnerable
  3. ^ "Doria's Tree Kangaroo". Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Doria's Tree-kangaroo". PapuaWeb. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  5. ^ a b c David Burnie & Don E. Wilson (eds), ed. (2005-09-19). Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife (1st paperback edition ed.). Dorling Kindersley. p. 101. ISBN 0-7566-1634-4. 
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