Matschies Tree Kangaroo
Matschie's Tree Kangaroo
Illustration - Peter Schouten
Characteristics: Distinctive variable white facial markings, reddish-brown overall colour, and a golden-yellow tail, stomach, feet, nose and tips to its ears. It's tail is relatively short.
Males: 9 kg (Average weight)
Females: 9 kg (Average weight)
Distribution: Found only in upper and lower montane forests of the Huon Peninsula in Morobe and Madang Provinces, PNG.
Elevation: 1,000 – 3,300 meters above sea level.
Diet: Very little is known about its diet in the wild. It is known to eat chickens head first in captivity.
Reproduction: Very well known due to studies in captive populations. Normally they have one young at a time, but twins have been recorded. Gestation is 44 days and the young are born tiny, hairless and spend about 10 months (41 weeks) in the mother's pouch after which they may spend only another three months with her before being totally independent. There is no embryonic diapause.
Conservation Status: Endangered (IUCN)
Local Names: Sivam (Komba, Madang Province)
Social Structure:. Solitary in the wild with a home range of 0.25 square kilomters.
Matschie's Tree Kangaroo lives only in the mountains of the Huon Peninsula in Morobe and Madang Provinces-PNG at elevations between 1000-3300m. Its distribution is thought to be approximately 5000 square kilometres.
Matschie's Tree Kangaroo has a reddish-brown overall colour, and a golden-yellow tail, stomach, feet, nose and tips to its ears. It's tail is relatively short and its maximum weight, for males and females, is about 9kg.
Each Matschie's Tree Kangaroo have different facial markings which makes each individual identifiable. This species has been held in many zoos and have been bred successfully. In captivity these animals can live up to 15 years. Matschie's Tree Kangaroo has been eliminated from some places of its range and as a result has been classified as endangered.
The major concern for this species is its limited range with increased hunting pressure and habitat loss makes the species particularly vulnerable. Research and conservation efforts have been conducted on this species for many years by the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project (TKCP). The organisation has established a Conservation Area throughout most of its range.
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 Matschie's Tree Kangaroo