Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Goodfellow's tree kangaroos are primarily solitary (2), with large male territories overlapping several smaller female territories (5), and breeding occurs year-round (2) (6). As a marsupial, the female of this species has a well-developed pouch on its abdomen into which the tiny newborn climbs, where it grows for up to the next ten to twelve months. Even after it leaves the pouch, the joey continues to return to nurse for several months (3). Sexual maturity is reached at two years of age, and individuals have been known to live over 14 years in captivity (5). A superb climber and capable of leaping long distances, this tree kangaroo spends much of its time in the trees, but also frequently descends to the ground in search of food (6). A largely nocturnal species, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo emerges at night to feed mainly on leaves and fruit, but also on flowers, grass and even cereals along the forest edges. Its large, sacculated stomach is specially adapted to this diet, allowing the breakdown and digestion of tough leafy material (3).
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Description

Like other tree kangaroos, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo differs noticeably from the better- known ground kangaroos because it has developed specialised adaptations to its arboreal lifestyle (2). These include shorter hind limbs, strong, stocky arms, and a long tail for balance while leaping among the branches (2) (3). The feet are also broader than those of ground kangaroos, and have padded soles to aid with gripping and sharp curved claws for climbing (2) (3). This slender-bodied tree kangaroo has short, usually woolly fur that ranges from chestnut-brown to crimson (3), with a paler underside, grey-brown face and yellow neck, cheeks and feet (2). A characteristic pair of golden stripes runs down the centre of the back and each individual has a unique pattern of yellow rings and blotches on the tail (4). Males are slightly larger than females (5).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the island of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea only), where it occurs in the mid-montane areas of the Central Cordillera. It may have previously occurred in lowland areas, however, it now appears to be extirpated from this part of its range. It has been recorded from sea level to 2,860 m asl.
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Geographic Range

Papua New Guinea

Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native )

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Range

Reported to occur from the border of central Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea through central and eastern Papua New Guinea (6).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

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.

Average mass: 7400 g.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is now restricted to montane tropical forest; it was formerly present in areas of lowland forest.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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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

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This species occurs mainly in dense tropical rainforests and deciduous forests over mountainous ranges, from 680 to 2865 m above sea level (5) (6).
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

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.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
23.6 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 23.6 years (captivity)
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Reproduction

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.

Average gestation period: 45 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Dendrolagus goodfellowi

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Dendrolagus goodfellowi

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
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.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered based on an ongoing population decline of at least 50% over the past three generations (i.e., 30 years) due to actual levels of exploitation from hunting and a decline in habitat quality. It has already been extirpated from significant portions of its range.

History
  • 1996
    Endangered
  • 1994
    Endangered
    (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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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

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Status

Classified as Endangered (EN A 1a) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1).
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Population

Population
It is probably not a common species, especially as its range overlaps with high human densities.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The species is highly threatened by hunting for food and is traded internally for cultural reasons by local people, and additionally by habitat loss through local deforestation for wood and timber, and by shifting cultivation and coffee plantations and rice (dryland) and wheat.
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Goodfellow's tree kangaroo is considered Endangered, as a result of over-hunting and habitat loss (3). Hunted for its meat, this species appears to be extremely vulnerable to poaching, having rapidly disappeared from areas of intensive hunting, even by surprisingly small human populations (6). Dwindling habitat is also a major cause for concern, with forest having been destroyed due to logging, mining, oil exploration and agriculture. Lowland rainforest has undergone extensive clearance and those populations still surviving in highland forest have been fragmented and isolated, markedly limiting their opportunity for out-breeding (3).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in several protected areas. Hunting regulations and local awareness programmes should be developed to protect this species. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, natural history, and threats to this species.
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Conservation

Its occurrence in a reasonable number of National Parks and reserves has helped ensure the survival of Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, as has the almost complete lack of any large tree-climbing predators or competitors (3). However, there are currently no direct conservation measures in place for this endangered species, which will require greater protection of its rapidly diminishing habitat and stricter restrictions to hunting if it is to recover.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

none noted

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

none noted

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Wikipedia

Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo

Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) also called the ornate tree-kangaroo, belongs to the family Macropodidae, which includes kangaroos, wallabies and their relatives,[3] and the genus Dendrolagus, with eleven other species.[1] The species is native to the rainforests of New Guinea, and the border of central Irian Jaya in Indonesia.[4] Under the IUCN classification, the species is listed as Endangered,[2] which is a result of overhunting and human encroachment on their habitat.[5] It is named after British zoological collector Walter Goodfellow.[6]

Description and taxonomy[edit]

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,[7] usually chestnut to red-brown in color, a gray-brown face, yellow-colored cheeks and feet; a pale belly,[8] a long, golden brown tail, and two golden stripes on its backside.[9] It weighs approximately 7 kg (about 15 lb).[4]

There are two subspecies of the Goodfellow's tree-kangaroo:[1]

Behaviour[edit]

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.[9]

Diet[edit]

Although it feeds mainly on the leaves of the Silkwood tree[10] (Flindersia pimenteliana), other morsels are accepted when available, including various fruits, cereals, flowers and grasses.[8] 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.[11]

Gallery[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 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. 
  2. ^ a b 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
  3. ^ Myers, P. (2001). "Macropodidae". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b Animal Info (1999-2005). Animal Info - Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
  5. ^ Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (2006). Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo - captive breeding program. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
  6. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2009-09-28). The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 592 (see pp. 158–9). ISBN 978-0-8018-9304-9. OCLC 270129903. 
  7. ^ Melbourne Zoo (2006). Animal Fact Sheet: Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
  8. ^ a b Discovery Communications Inc. (2006). Goodfellow's tree kangaroo. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
  9. ^ a b World Wildlife Fund (2006). Tree Kangaroos. Retrieved August 3, 2006.
  10. ^ "Goodfellow's tree kangaroo". Funk & Wagnalls Wildlife Encyclopedia 20. New York, N.Y.: Funk and Wagnalls. 1974. p. 2397. 
  11. ^ Johnson, S. (1999). "Dendrolagus goodfellowi". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2006-08-03. 

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