Grizzled tree-kangaroo

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Grizzled tree-kangaroo[1]
Dendrolague.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Dendrolagus
Species: D. inustus
Binomial name
Dendrolagus inustus
Müller, 1840
Grizzled Tree Kangaroo area.png
Grizzled tree-kangaroo range

The grizzled tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus inustus) is a species of marsupial in the Macropodidae family. It is found in foothill forest in northern and western New Guinea. It is also known from some of the offshore islands.[3]

Description[edit]

The grizzled tree-kangaroo grows to a length of about 75 to 90 cm (30 to 35 in) with males being considerably larger than females. It resembles a terrestrial kangaroo and its weight varies between about 8 and 15 kg (18 and 33 lb). The head is small, with a flat muzzle, the arms are powerful for climbing, the hind legs are long and the feet are large for an arboreal animal. The toes are armed with strong claws and the fourth toe is usually longer than the others. The otherwise bushy, cylindrical tail is hairless at the base, and is used as a prop when climbing.Its colouring is between charcoal grey and chocolate brown with paler underparts. The ears are black and the toes and tail are dark.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The grizzled tree-kangaroo is native to the tropical rainforests of northern and western New Guinea at elevations of up to 1,400 m (4,593 ft) above see level. Its range includes the Foja Mountains and the Bird's Head Peninsula and it occurs on the offshore islands of Yapen, Waigeo, Misool and Salawati, and possibly also Batanta. It is present in both primary and secondary forests.[2]

Biology[edit]

The grizzled tree-kangaroo sometimes descends to the ground but spends most of its time in trees, leaping agilely from branch to branch. It sleeps on a horizontal branch and feeds on the leaves, fruits and bark of trees.[4] The diet includes the leaves of Schuurmansiella angustifolia, Gnetum, Tetracera, Elatostema and arums and the leaves and fruit of fig trees.[5] It is present in many zoos; one captive specimen was said to have a diet that consisted largely of mealworms and boiled eggs, and other specimens have been feed on biscuits, sardines and rice.[5] The reproduction of this tree kangaroo has been little studied but breeding seems to take place once a year with a single young remaining in the female's pouch for about nine months.[4] Females with young have been observed in March, June and December and a single set of twins have been recorded.[5]

Status[edit]

The IUCN lists the grizzled tree-kangaroo as "Vulnerable". It is an uncommon animal and its population is believed to be declining though its range and numbers have not been well studied. It is hunted for food and for the pet trade by the indigenous people and its habitat is being degraded for agriculture and to make way for plantations of oil palm. The animals living in the northern coastal mountain range are particularly threatened but there is a community initiative there focussing on conservation of tree kangaroos. The animal appears in Appendix II of CITES.[2][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 60. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ a b c Leary, T., Seri, L., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Salas, L. (2008). Dendrolagus inustus. 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
  3. ^ Flannery, T. 1995. Mammals of New Guinea. Reed Books. ISBN 0-7301-0411-7
  4. ^ a b c d Ho, Yan-Iuan (2004). "Dendrolagus inustus: grizzled tree kangaroo". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  5. ^ a b c "Grizzled Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus inustus Müller, 1840". Papuan Mammals. Retrieved 2014-07-10.