Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species has an extremely restricted range on the summits of the eastern Bewani range and the Menawa block, and the Torricelli Mountains between the Yonkeitei and Wigotei Villages in the Fatima area of Papua New Guinea (Flannery 1995). The total range is estimated to be close to 1,247 km². It has been recorded between 830 and 1,520 m asl.
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Geographic Range

Tenkile tree kangaroos are found only Papua New Guinea, and only in Sandaun Province along the Torricelli Mountains in the rainforests on the southern side of Mount Sumoro. Today, the total area occupied by these tree kangaroos is only about 50 square kilometers.

Biogeographic Regions: australian

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

The body mass of Dendrolagus scottae averages 10 kg. Tree kangaroos have bodies that are built for climbing up and down trees and for moving along tree branches. The tail is similar to that of other macropods, but the tenkiles are more adapted for maneuvering through the upper levels of the rainforest. Good balance and agility are needed to be able to jump or move from tree to tree without falling to the forest floor. These qualities are enhanced by the tenkiles' floppy tails. Large foreclaws enable these animals to grasp tree branches and climb through the canopy with ease. Their fur is a dark brown color and, like many other marsupials, they have a pouch used in the development of offspring.

Average mass: 10 kg.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It has been recorded from montane tropical forest. This species spends large amounts of time on the ground (Flannery 1995). Animals are wary and are usually only encountered as solitary individuals, although small groups of animals were recorded in the past (Flannery 1995). There does not appear to be a breeding season, and the females seem to give birth to one, or possibly two, young (Flannery 1995).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The rainforest canopy on the southern side of Mount Somoro is now the only home to tenkile tree kangaroos. This habitat is at elevations of 900 to 1500 meters.

Range elevation: 900 to 1500 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Tenkiles, or Scott's tree kangaroos, are mainly herbivorous. Their primary diet consists of tree leaves, ferns, and soft vines. They may forage in the trees or on the ground.

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Tenkile tree kangaroos impact plant communities in the ecosystems in which they live through their predation on plants. Little is known of other impacts they may have.

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Predation

The main predator of Scott's tree kangaroos is humans. Tribal hunters in the areas of the Torricelli Mountains are hunting these animals resulting in rapidly decreasing populations. They are used for meat and skins. The young are also being killed for their skins, or they are being captured and kept as pets. Little is known about any anti-predator adaptations in this species.

Known Predators:

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Known predators

Dendrolagus scottae is prey of:
Homo sapiens

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Little is known about how tenkiles communicate, however it is likely that they use the full suite of available senses to communicate and perceive their environment, including vision, chemical cues, touch, and hearing.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

There is little information on longevity in D. scottae, however other tree kangaroos are known to live 20 years or more in captivity.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
20 (high) years.

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Reproduction

There is very little information on Dendrolagus scottae or other Dendrolagus species. In captivity, males of other Dendrolagus species will fight in the presence of females.

Research on Scott's tree kangaroos suggests that these animals breed throughout most of the year. Females will give birth to young at 12 month intervals. Like most macropods, Scott's tree kangaroos give birth to one offspring at a time.

In other tree kangaroo species, gestation lasts about 32 days, young emerge from the pouch at about 305 days, and cease to crawl into the pouch to suckle at 408 days.

Breeding interval: Tree kangaroos give birth once yearly, on average.

Breeding season: Breeding occurs throughout most of the year.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous

Like other kangaroos, female Scott's tree kangaroos carry their young in a pouch until the joey is large enough and old enough to emerge. This time period is usually ten to twelve months. The young are nursed from birth until the young are more than a year old.

Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care

  • Nowak, R. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Flannery, T. 1995. Mammals of New Guinea. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
  • Massicot, P. 2002. "Animal Info" (On-line ). Tenkile. Accessed 04/11/03 at http://www.animalinfo.org/species/dendscot.htm.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
A4cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Leary, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Seri, L.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Critically Endangered because of an ongoing population decline, suspected to be more than 80% over the last generation (i.e, 10 years), and projected exceed 30% over the next two generations (i.e., 20 years), due to hunting and habitat loss and degradation. Hunting moratoria are working in some parts of its range.

History
  • 1996
    Endangered
  • 1994
    Endangered
    (Groombridge 1994)
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Scott's tree kangaroos, which were first discovered in 1989, are thought to be the rarest tree kangaroo species. Wild populations are rapidly declining, and is now thought to be less than 200 individuals. This is about a 75% reduction since the species was first discovered. The main reason for these falling numbers is hunting by the increasing human population and habitat loss. To deal with this unfortunate population decline, the Tenkile Conservation Alliance was formed in 1999. This conservation group is working to maintain the failing habitat of this rare species. If action is not taken soon, the tenkile population is likely to be extinct within just a few years.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

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Population

Population
The subpopulation size of this species in the Torricelli Mountains totals less than 250 individuals (L. Salas pers. comm.). At the eastern end of the Bewani range at the village of Kabori, Jim and Jean Thomas (pers. comm.) report that nine animals were killed during a hunting trip. The village representatives were willing to sign a hunting moratorium.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by hunting for food by local people and by habitat loss through conversion of forest to subsistence agricultural use and regional human population growth.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There is a community-based conservation project in place for this species; this includes a local hunting moratorium in the Swelpini area (Flannery 1995).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse affects of tenkile tree kangaroos on humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Humans use tenkile tree kangaroos as a source of food and fur and sometimes keep them as pets.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food ; body parts are source of valuable material

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Wikipedia

Tenkile

The tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), also known as Scott's tree-kangaroo, is a species of tree-kangaroo in the Macropodidae family. It is endemic to a very small area of the Torricelli Mountains of Papua New Guinea.[3] Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests. It is threatened by habitat loss and hunting.[2]

The tenkile is a close relative of Doria's tree-kangaroo. It weighs 9–11 kg, and is predominantly black. It has a powerful and persistent odour.[3]

Tenkile has declined greatly over the past 50 years. It is currently restricted to three remote areas along the summit of the Torricelli Range.[3]

References

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 60–61. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
  2. ^ a b Leary, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Seri, L. (2008). Dendrolagus scottae. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as critically endangered
  3. ^ a b c Flannery, Tim: Mammals of New Guinea, Chatswood, 1995
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