Matschie's Tree Kangaroo
|Geographical Range||Papua New Guinea|
|Scientific Name||Dendrolagus matschiei|
A kangaroo that lives in trees? That’s right!
Matschie’s tree kangaroos live in thick, mountainous forests, where they have become well adapted to life in the trees. They are able to climb tree trunks like a cat, thanks to long, sharp claws on their front and hind feet. They've also retained the kangaroo's legendary ability to jump, though they've perfected the art of jumping in the treetops. They can even leap to the ground from up to 30 feet high in a tree -- without getting hurt!
The tree kangaroo's favorite foods are leaves and buds. They will also eat flowers, tender grasses and bark.
Though little is known about their behavior in the wild, it's thought that these animals live a mostly solitary lifestyle. Females and males have non-overlapping ranges, and the only strong social bonds are between a mother and her young.
Like other kangaroos, this animal is a marsupial. Females carry their baby in a pouch for about eight to 10 months, but even after the joey leaves the pouch it often returns to nurse for a month or two afterwards. Once a young tree kangaroo is completely weaned, it leaves the mother to establish its own home range.
The number of wild Matschie's tree kangaroos has been declining. Not only is their habitat facing destruction because of logging and exploration for minerals and oil, but the animals are also hunted by local people.