Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Phalangeridae

Scientific Name: Phalanger matanim
Species Authority: Flannery, 1987
Common Name(s):
English Telefomin Cuscus
French Couscous De Telefomin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Salas, L. & Dickman, C.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because its only known location was completely destroyed by fire in 1998. There is a strong possibility that this species is extinct, however, surveys of other potential sites are required. Should this species be located, its total population would be very small (likely less than 50 mature individuals).
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the areas of Telefomin and Tifalmin, Papua New Guinea. The species might be found further north-east or west of the known collection localities. The only place where it is known with certainty was largely destroyed by fire in 1998. It has been recorded from between 1,400 and 2,600 m asl (1,400-1,800 is the core elevation range). It occurs sympatrically with the other species.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Papua New Guinea
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1400
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is known from only six specimens. An individual that is presumed to be this species was captured in 1997 (L. Salas pers. comm.), but was not collected. The area in which the species occurs has not been well surveyed.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in mid-montane tropical moist oak forest and has a narrow altitudinal range. Little more is known about the natural history of this distinctive species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The habitat at the type locality was completely burnt in the 1998 El Niño event. This species is threatened by local hunting for food and loss of suitable habitat through human encroachment.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known if the species is present in any protected areas. Further field surveys are needed to confirm the existence of this species. Hunting regulations may be needed to prevent its overexploitation.

Citation: Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. 2008. Phalanger matanim. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16851A6505272. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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