Lowland Tree Kangaroo
Lowland Tree Kangaroo
Illustration - Peter Schouten
Characteristics: Uniform reddish-brown very sparse short coat with the stomach region being paler than the back. Distinguished by its longer tail.
Males: 7 - 9 kg (only two adult males weighed)
Females: ? kg (not recorded)
Distribution: Restricted to the Papuan Plateau lowlands of south central part of Papua New Guinea.
Elevation: sea level to 800 meters above sea level.
Diet: Very little is known about its diet.
Reproduction: Very little known about its reproduction due to only being identified by seven animals.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Local Names: Ulea (Daribi, Chimbu Province).
Social Structure: Not known
The Lowland Tree Kangaroo is found in primary rainforest of lowland swamps in the Gulf and Western Provinces of Papua New Guinea. It is thought to be found at elevations from sea level to 800m within an area of up to 20,000 square kilometres.
The Lowland Tree Kangaroo is reddish-brown in colour with the stomach region being paler than the back. A live specimen kept in the Port Moresby Botanical Gardens in 2001 was a uniform dark red in colour, lightly furred and somewhat similar in shape to Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo.
Only two Lowland Tree Kangaroos have ever been weighed. Both were males and weighed 7 and 9.1kg.
It is hunted for food locally, however, this is not considered a major threat to this species as there is a low human population density in the area, which is largely related to the region's inhospitable limestone topography. Deforestation due to logging is a threat in places (three quarters of the range is now a logging concession, but the dry karst country is largely inaccessible). There are ongoing proposals to put in oil palm plantations. There is also drilling for oil in one place.
Unfortunately very little is known on the life history of this species. Until research is conducted on the Lowland Tree Kangaroo its status remains unknown.
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.
Distribution of the Lowland Tree Kangaroo