Overview

Brief Summary

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).

  • Edwards, M.S. and Ward, A. 2001. Nutrition, food preparation and feeding. In Tree Kangaroo Species Survival Plan J. Steenberg and J. Blessington. Eds. American Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
  • Groves, C. P., 1982. The systematics of tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus; Marsupialia, Macropodidae). Australian Mammal Society. 5, 157-86
  • Leary, T., Seri, L., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Salas, L., Flannery, T. & Bonaccorso, F. 2008. Dendrolagus ursinus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 24 October 2013.
  • Porolak, Gabriel. 2008. Home range of the Huon tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei, in cloud forest on the Huon peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Masters (Research) Thesis. James Cook University.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the island of New Guinea where it is restricted to the Vogelkop Peninsula, and possibly the Fak Fak Peninsula, of Papua Province, Indonesia (Flannery 1995). The elevation today ranges between 1,000 and 2,500 m asl. There are historical records from sea level.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a montane tropical forest species, although it occurred historically in lowland forest.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 20 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen was estimated to be around 20 years old when it died (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

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., Salas, L., Flannery, T. & Bonaccorso, F.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because it is suspected to have undergone at least a 30% population reduction in the last three generations (i.e., 30 years) that has not ceased, due to hunting pressures and loss of habitat.

History
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
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Population

Population
It is an uncommon species that is restricted primarily to the uninhabited parts of its range. It has lost a significant portion of its range (and hence population) in the last 60-70 years.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by hunting by local people for food, and through loss of habitat by conversion of forest to cultivated land. Flannery (1995) indicates that it has been eliminated from the more densely populated parts of the Arfak Mountains.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. It occurs in one protected area. Further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, natural history, and threats to this species.
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Wikipedia

Ursine tree-kangaroo

The ursine tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus ursinus) is a species of marsupial in the Macropodidae family. It is endemic to the Vogelkop and possibly the Fak-fak peninsulas, West Papua, Indonesia. It is threatened by habitat loss.[2]

References

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 61. 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., Salas, L., Flannery, T. & Bonaccorso, F. (2008). Dendrolagus ursinus. 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
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