Phalanger lullulae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Phalanger lullulae Thomas, 1896
Common Name(s):
English Woodlark Cuscus
French Couscous De Woodlark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-30
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A. & Hamilton, S.
Reviewer(s): Pacifici, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Johnson, C.N.
Listed as Endangered because it has an extent of occurrence of much less than 1,300 km², all individuals are known from two (possibly 3) locations, and there is an imminent risk (=projected decline) to its remaining habitat due to plans for logging and mine development on Woodlark Island.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from Woodlark and Alcester (possibly introduced) Islands, and may be present on the island of Madau (all Papua New Guinea) (Flannery 1995). It ranges in elevation from sea level to 410 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Number of Locations:3
Upper elevation limit (metres):410
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It was abundant in the 1990s on the island of Alcester (Flannery 1995); its current status there is unknown. On Woodlark Island it is more common in the drier eastern end of the island than elsewhere (Flannery 1995).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a nocturnal species found in both primary and secondary tropical moist forest. Animals shelter under epiphytes and in tree hollows during the day (Flannery 1995). Secondary regrowth provide the species with what locals say is their favourite food – nectar from a vine and a tree Rhus taitensis that quickly grows up in old gardens (F. Damon pers. comm.). Females give birth to a single young.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to the Woodlark Cuscus, and indeed the current way of life for humans on the island, is a proposal by a Malaysian timber company to log almost half of the rainforest on the island. In addition a goldmine is planned for the island, and this has the potential to degrade habitat for the species. The Woodlark Cuscus is occasionally hunted for food by local people, but it is not a preferred food item (unlike pigs and fish), and hunting appears to have little impact on population abundance. It is potentially threatened by the introduction of other Phalanger species to the islands, with the possibilities of competition and disease transmission (Flannery 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known if this species is present in any protected areas. The main threat to this species, logging of forest on Woodlark Island, should be prevented.

Citation: Leary, T., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Helgen, K., Wright, D., Allison, A. & Hamilton, S. 2016. Phalanger lullulae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16846A21951419. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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