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Buergers'/Goodfellow's (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) and Matschie's (Dendrolagus matschiei) Tree Kangaroos Fact Sheet: Managed Care

North American Zoos

  • Buergers' tree kangaroo
    • Only subspecies of D. goodfellowi kept in zoos (Flannery et al. 1996)
    • Population in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions as of Mar 2013 (M. Souza, pers. comm.)
      • 45 animals (14 males, 31 females) in 19 institutions worldwide
        • 5 in North American institutions (Cleveland, San Antonio, San Diego)
    • History at San Diego Zoo (M. Souza, pers. comm.)
      • First individuals arrived in 1969
      • 1 male, 2 females as of March 2013
      • 30 births as of March 2013
  • Matschie's tree kangaroo
    • Population in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions as of Jan 2011 (Blessington 2011)
      • 54 animals (27 males, 26 females, 1 unknown sex) in 24 institutions
    • History at San Diego Zoo (M. Souza, pers. comm.)
      • First individuals arrived in 1951
      • 1 adult male, 1 adult female as of March 2013
      • 9 births as of March 2013

Husbandry

Diet (George 1982)

  • 3 main components
    • Folivore biscuits (e.g. wallaby pellets)
    • Green browse
      • Carrot tops, fern leaves, endive, chinese cabbage
      • If fresh browse not available: oat grass, green lucerne
    • Fruits and vegetables
  • Detailed diet information

Behavioral enrichment

  • Gourd puzzle feeders
    • Used at San Diego Zoo (Kline 2009)

Other Husbandry Notes

  • Buergers' tree kangaroo (Flannery 1996; George 1982)
    • More difficult to maintain than Matschie's tree kangaroo
    • Has been successfully bred and kept in managed care
    • May be housed in small groups
      • 1 male with up to 3 females
      • Never 2 adult males together
  • Matschie's tree kangaroo (Flannery 1996; George 1982; Heath 1990)
    • Adapts better to managed care than other species (George 1982)
    • May be housed in groups
      • 1 male with up to 5 females
        • Separate male from female when young discovered in pouch
        • Females may pull young out of other females' pouches, especially if male present
      • Never house 2 adult males together, due to aggression (juveniles okay)
      • Older young may be removed from mother before a new birth
    • Vitamin E deficiency can lead to death in managed care
    • Coat color may fade on unbalanced diet - add maize or tea-leaves to diet to restore color

On Exhibit

tree Kangaroo

 

Image credit: © Tim Wang (Beijing, China; Buergers' Tree Kangaroo) [CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

Page Citations

Blessington (2011)
Edwards & Ward (1998)
Flannery et al. (1996)
George (1982)
Heath (1990)
Kline (2009)

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