Goodfellows Tree Kangaroo

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo

Download Goodfellows Tree Kangaroo - information sheet

Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Dendrolagus
Species: goodfellowi

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo
(Dendrolagus goodfellowi goodfellowi)

Illustration - Peter Schouten

Characteristics: brownish-red in colour, with two golden stripes from the base of their red and gold ringed tails, to at least half way up their backs.

Males: 7.9 kg (average male)

Females: 8.2 kg (average female)

Distribution: This species is widespread in secondary, primary and mid-montane rainforest throughout New Guinea. Occurring from Alotau right through the Central Cordillera to the West Papuan.

Elevation:  680 – 2,865 meters above sea level.

Diet: Eats leaves and roots of Poikilospermum amboinse and Mussaenda ferruginea, wild figs, and even boiled eggs in captivity.

Reproduction: This species is kept throughout the worlds zoos. Captive records indicate that gestation is about 45 days, young are in their mothers' pouch for eight to 10 months and then only stay with mum for another three months. This is a short period of association between mother and offspring. Believed to be capable of embryonic diapauses.

Conservation Status: Endangered (IUCN)

Local Names: Yemma Timboyok (Mianmin, Sandaun Province), Wolo (Daribi, Chimbu Province)

Social Structure: Seen in pairs which is unusual for Tree Kangaroos. 

Habits:
The Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroos are an attractive species consisting of brownish-red in colour, with two golden stripes from the base of their red and gold ringed tails, to at least half way up their backs. This species is widespread in PNG occurring from Alotau right through the Central Cordillera to the West Papuan border.

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo (D.g.goodfellowi) is found in secondary and primary lowland and mid-montane forest in the mountains of south-eastern Papua New Guinea. It has been located at elevations between sea-level to approximately 2,800 m. Its total distribution may encompass 10,000 square kilometres.

The Timboyok (D.g.buergersi) is located in mid-montane oak forest in north-western and central Papua New Guinea at elevations ranging between 1000-2860m. Timboyok has a possible distribution of 30,000 square kilometres. Timboyok is usually about 7.5kg in weight and there is no real size difference between male and female. It is probable that each individual of these two subspecies has a unique pattern of rings on the tail, however this can only be confirmed with Timboyok. Timboyok has been held in captivity at several zoological institutions and has bred in the captive environment. Records indicate that gestation is about 45 days, young are in their mothers' pouch for eight to 10 months and then only stay with mum for another three months. This is a short period of association between mother and offspring.

Timboyok seem to form pairs although more work is needed on wild animals before they can be deemed as monogamous. Timboyok is long lived as captive animals have survived into their late teens.

Certainly more data needs to come to the fore so to conclude whether there is a distinct sub-species or not. Very little has been recorded on the sub-species (D.g.goodfellowi) since it was described. It is very similar but is possibly larger in size and has slight colour differences. The status of this sub-species is unknown.

Conservation status:
Due to hunting pressure in the centre of Timboyok's range it is classified as endangered. In areas where human populations are less dense the Goodfellows tree kangaroo populations are probably more common.  Its distribution does overlap with some protected areas however hunting restrictions would need to be developed to ensure its survival into the future.

References:
Mammals of new Guinea – Tim Flannery (1995) and
Tree Kangaroos - a curious natural history – Tim Flannery, Roger Martin and Alexandra Szalay (1996). 
Illustrations Peter Schouten. 
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6429/0

 

Distribution of the Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo
Distribution of the Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo

Timboyok Tree Kangaroo

Timboyok Tree Kangaroo
(Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi)

Illustration - Peter Schouten


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