Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo

Scientific Name: Dendrolagus matschiei

Description

Somewhat similar in appearance to Australia’s famous koalas, Matschie’s tree kangaroos are medium-sized marsupials adapted to life off the ground. Weighing about 15 pounds, they have thick fur, brightly colored with yellows and mahogany. Tree kangaroos are true marsupials, giving birth after a 32-day gestation period. The “joey” will then live in its mother’s pouch for approximately 10 months, after which it will continue to return to the pouch to nurse.

Range

The nine species of tree kangaroos live mainly in the mountainous rainforests of New Guinea and Australia. Matschie’s tree kangaroos are found only in Papua New Guinea, the world’s second-largest island, located 90 miles north of Australia.

Status in the Wild

The Matschie’s is listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Extensive logging and hunting pressure in New Guinea are serious threats to their long-term survival. Riverbanks Zoo has kept and bred this species since 1974 and has supported projects that study and protect them in the wild. They can be seen in the Conservation Outpost near Kangaroo Walkabout.

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