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Buergers' (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) and Matschie's (Dendrolagus matschiei) Tree Kangaroos Fact Sheet, 2013   Tags: climb, conservation, endangered, fact sheet, forest, herbivore, kangaroo, mammal, marsupial, new guinea, paws, san diego zoo, sdzg, species, tail, tree  

Buergers' (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) and Matschie's (Dendrolagus matschiei) Tree Kangaroos
Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017 URL: http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/buerger-matschie-treekangaroos Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Buergers' (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) and Matschie's (Dendrolagus matschiei) Tree Kangaroos Fact Sheet, 2013

Tree kangaroo

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Diprotodontia – koalas, wombats, possums, and macropods (kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wallabies, etc.)

Family: Macropodidae – tree kangaroos, kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, etc.

Genus: Dendrolagus

Species: Dendrolagus goodfellowi (Thomas 1908) - Goodfellow's tree kangaroo

Subspecies: Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi (Matschie 1912) - Buergers' tree kangaroo

Species: Dendrolagus matschiei (Förster & Rothschild 1907) - Matschie's (or Huon) tree kangaroo

Body Weight
Buerger's, males: 6.7-8.5 kg (14.8-18.7 lb)
Buerger's, females: 5.6-8.6 kg (12.3-19.0 lb)

Matschie's, males: 5.8-10.0 kg (12.8-22.0 lb)
Matschie's, females: 5.6-10.5 kg (12.4-23.2 lb)

Head-body Length
Buergers', males: 500-750 mm (19.7-29.5 in)
Buergers', females: 560-635 mm (22.1-25.0 in)

Matschie's, males: 615-660 mm (24.2-26.0 in)
Matschie's, females: 512-630 mm (20.2-24.8 in)

Tail Length
Buergers', males: 645-760 mm (25.4-29.9 in)
Buerger's, females: 650-779 mm (25.6-30.7 in)

Matschie's, males: 555-620 mm (21.9-24.4 in)
Matschie's, females: 455-685 mm (17.9-27.0 in)

Pelage
Both chestnut brown.

Buergers': Short, wooly fur; two yellow stripes run down its back; banded markings on tail.
Matschie's: Fur relatively long; distinctive brown and creamy-white color on face; no dorsal stripes, like on Buergers'; no markings on tail

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range
Very small; eastern Papua New Guinea

Habitat
Montane tropical forests

IUCN Status
Endangered

CITES Appendix
Not listed

Population in Wild
Buerger's tree kangaroo: not common; trend decreasing
Matschie's (or Huon) tree kangaroo: fewer than 2,500 adults

Locomotion
Climb trees (rare among marsuials). Move on the ground and also tree-to-tree. Walk, hop on two back legs, bound on all four legs. Efficient climbers.

Activity Cycle
Unclear; different patterns observed.

Social Groups
Buergers': often found in male-female pairs
Matschie's: unknown from the wild; described as solitary

Diet
Browsing herbivores. Eat many types of plants on the ground and in trees. Meat-eating only in observed in captivity.

Predators
Subject to much hunting pressure by humans (for food and trade by local people). Possibly very large snakes (not well-understood).

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity
About 2-2.5 years (most data from individuals in captivity)

Gestation
44-45 days

Litter Size
Usually 1

Interbirth Interval
Breed year round; females in estrus for 51-70 days; perhaps 10-12 in a lifetime

Birth Weight
Undetermined

Age at Weaning
About 12 months; accompany mother 2-3 more months

Longevity
In the wild: 5-8 years
In captivity: up to 17 years

Feature Facts

  • Very strong limbs for climbing and walking/bounding; dextrous forepaws
  • Nobby pads on feet for high-friction while climbing
  • Difficult to study in the wild; limited natural history information available
  • Typically fight while lying on sides; wrestle and box with forelimbs
  • Usually silent; may use tongue clicks to communicate agitation or anger
  • Relatively few tree kangaroos in captivity
  • All tree kangaroos may be threatened with extinction
  • Local people often use dogs to hunt tree kangaroos
 

About This Fact Sheet

© 2013 San Diego Zoo Global

How to cite: Buergers' (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) and Matschie's (Dendrolagus matschiei) Tree Kangaroos Fact Sheet, 2013. c2013. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/buerger-matschie-treekangaroos
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org.

 

Distinctive Tails

Tree kangaroo with bands on its tail

Buergers' tree kangaroo has bands and blotches on its tail. The patterns is unique to each individual.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

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