Distribution: Papua New Guinea
Habitat: Oak forests in mountainous areas
Description: This tree kangaroo species has soft reddish-brown fur with golden fur on its limbs, face, underbelly and two stripes that run from its tail up its back. Each individual has a unique pattern of brown and gold stripes on its tail. Tree kangaroos are adapted for climbing trees. Their long tail helps them balance and their strong limbs with rubbery soles help them grip branches. They can also move their hind feet separately, unlike ground-dwelling kangaroos.
Diet: Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are omnivores. Most of the time they feed on leaves, flowers, fruits and insects. They may also occasionally eat eggs and small birds.
In the wild: Tree kangaroos are active in the morning and afternoon, but in areas near human settlements they are mostly nocturnal.
Both male and female Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are territorial, but males have larger home ranges that overlap the territories of several females.
Threats: Tree kangaroos are threatened by habitat destruction and over hunting. Conservation groups are working with local communities to highlight the continuing need for tree kangaroo conservation and the use of alternative food sources. In 2004 a hunting ban on one species of tree kangaroo, the Tenkile, was established. Data has shown a 50% increase in population over a two-year period since the ban was put in place.
At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo’s female Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are on display opposite the cassowary exhibit. Perth Zoo supports the conservation of tree kangaroos in the wild through its fundraising program Wildlife Conservation Action. Find out more at www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au/wca.
Did you know? Tree kangaroos are very agile. They can leap to the ground from heights of 18 metres without hurting themselves.