Tree kangaroos

Wet Tropics Management AuthorityConsider yourself lucky if you come across a tree-kangaroo in the forest and actually get to see it. Often, the only evidence of a tree-kangaroo's presence is the sudden crash of leaves and branches followed by a thud as the very shy tree-kangaroo jumps from its lofty hiding spot and flees into the bush. Some tree-kangaroo sightings are simply that of a long, brown furry tail disappearing into the undergrowth. Or a small brown lump high in the treetops.

The Wet Tropics is home to Lumholtz's and Bennett's tree-kangaroos. Both stand no more than 60cm tall, but their tails are almost a metre long. They spend most of their time in the tree canopy feeding on leaves and fruits.


Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo

Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) occurs mostly at high altitudes between Kirrama, in the southern Wet Tropics to the Daintree River, in the northern Wet Tropics. A generally solitary animal, small groups of up-to-four can sometimes be seen. Females give birth to one offspring at a time and there appears to be no specific breeding season. The smallest of the 14 tree kangaroo species, it is nocturnal and spends the day crouched on a branch, sleeping.


Bennett's tree-kangaroo

A little larger than Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo is Bennett's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus bennettianus). It resides at high and low altitudes north of the Daintree River in an area of only about 70km by 50km.

The herbivore survives on a diet of leaves, ferns and wild fruits.  

Tree kangaroo
Photographer: EPAMore information

You can out more about tree-kangaroos from factsheets and other websites:    

Macropods of the Wet Tropics (Tropical Topics)

Tree-kangaroo and mammal group (TKMG) website

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