Dendrolagus matschiei


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Dendrolagus matschiei
Species Authority: Förster & Rothschild, 1907
Common Name(s):
English Huon Tree Kangaroo, Matschie's Tree-kangaroo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Leary, T., Seri, L., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Salas, L.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Endangered because the number of mature individuals is expected to be less than 2,500 based on its naturally low population density and small extent of occurrence (restricted to high elevations), there is a continuing population decline due to hunting pressures and habitat loss due, and all individuals are contained within a single subpopulation.
1996 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the high elevations of the Huon Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea. There is a population present on the island of Umboi, Papua New Guinea, but this is "almost certainly introduced" (Flannery 1995a), and although this population is mapped it is not considered for the purposes of listing. It has been recorded between 1,000 and 3,300 m asl. The extent of occurrence is less than 14,000 km².
Papua New Guinea
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It has a naturally low population density.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in tropical montane and upper montane forests. Females have a gestation period of about 44 days (Heath et al. 1990); in captivity the young permanently leave the pouch by about 41 weeks (Dabek 1994). The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program is currently conducting a study of home range and habitat characteristics (S. Martin pers. comm.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by overhunting for food by local people, and habitat loss due to conversion of forest to subsistence agricultural use and general human encroachment. The human population of the Huon Peninsula is rapidly growing. Coffee production is increasing and there is an active nickel mine on the northern edge of the mountain range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The community-based Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea is protecting this species through protection of habitat (S. Martin pers. comm.). The species has received considerable conservation attention within Papua New Guinea. There is a need to regulate hunting of this species through establishment of no-hunting areas by local people (S. Martin pers. comm.). The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program is working with local communities on the Huon Peninsula to create a Conservation Area of over 80,000 hectares (S. Martin pers. comm.).

Bibliography [top]

Dabek, L. 1994. Reproductive biology and behavior of captive female Matschie's tree kangaroos, Dendrolagus matschiei. Thesis, University Of Washington.

Flannery, T. F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Comstock/Cornell, Ithaca, Ny, USA.

Flannery, T. F. 1995. The Mammals of New Guinea, 2nd edition. Reed Books, Sydney, Australia.

Heath, A., Benner, S. and Watson-Jones, J. 1990. A case study of tree kangaroo husbandry at CRC. AAZPA Regional Conference Proceedings, pp. 518-527. AAZPA, Wheeling, West Virginia, USA.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Menzies, J. I. 1991. Handbook of New Guinea Marsupials and Monotremes. Kristen Press, Inc., Madang.

Citation: Leary, T., Seri, L., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Flannery, T., Martin, R. & Salas, L. 2008. Dendrolagus matschiei. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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