All these tree kangaroo facts can make a huge difference in your basic insights about Australian kangaroo including tree kangaroo diet, habitat, and reproduction. Tree kangaroos are macropods that are perfectly adaptable for living in trees which is why they are also called tree-dwelling species. These types of kangaroos are the inhabitants of rainforests in New Guinea, northeastern Queensland, and adjacent islands. These are mostly found in the high mountainous regions but there are some that lives in lowland areas. Due to excessive hunting and habitat destruction, tree kangaroos have started to disappear from most of the major islands. They are listed as endangered species for the same reason. So far scientists have discovered 14 tree kangaroo species with some ambiguities still exists as to the taxonomy of the animals. They have diverse range of color, size, and body length as we move from one species to another. The head-and-body length is approximately 41 – 77 cm, with a 40 – 87 cm long tail. The males are slightly greater in size in comparison to the females.
Interesting Tree Kangaroo Facts
- Tree kangaroos are slow in reacting as well as awkward on the ground.
- These species hop around but at a walking pace; however, they are far more lithe and quick in trees.
- They are also exceptional jumpers with some jumps recorded to be 9 meters (30 feet) in the downward direction from one tree to another.
- Tree kangaroos are adept to jump to the ground from 18 m (59 ft) or more.
- They have robust legs and forelimbs that help them in climbing up the tree very easily.
- A tree kangaroo exhibits a dense reddish brown fur as well as bright band that run along its back.
- The length of tree kangaroo measures around 41 – 77 cm (16 – 30 inches) excluding tail.
- The tail is 40 – 87 cm (16 – 34 inches) long.
- The females are smaller than males.
- Tree kangaroos weigh around 14.5 kg (32 lb).
- They have dark red feet, ears, and stomach.
- The tree kangaroo tail helps him to maintain a balance.
- These kangaroos are solitary animals and they only congregate while mating.
- The population of tree kangaroos is facing rapid decline due to undue habitat destruction, oil exploration, mining, and farming. Because of these acts, these species are more readily preyed on by wild dogs. Besides habitat destruction, tree kangaroos have also been hunted in order to meet the native people’s needs. They are hunted mainly for meat.
These types of kangaroos are mostly found in the Montane tropical forests of Papua New Guinea (Australia), and Indonesia. Because of extreme hunting and habitat loss these animals are listed as critically endangered species and there are only 50 individuals left in the wild. Over the last 30 years or so, more than 80% of tree kangaroos have been put to death. They are known to live in high cloud forests with a height of about 11,000 feet (3,350 meters).
What Do Tree Kangaroos Eat
These species are exclusively herbivorous and they primarily feed on leaves, fresh vegetation, fruits, flowers, nuts and other plants matter. Fresh vegetation is necessary to give them extra strength while climbing; however, they have to rely on dry grasses in times of drought. Tree kangaroos diet include moss, grass, ferns, saps, bird eggs, grains, tree bark, and young birds. One of the primary sources of tree kangaroos diet is browse which is rich in fiber. They are also known to eat few tree species including alder, ficus, willow, maple, and elm. Sometimes, they also consume bamboo but these kinds of nutrients are often provided in captivity as they are not readily available in the wild. These animals eat bamboo and other foods when they are fresh. It follows that more than 65 – 75% of browse is consumed by tree kangaroos. When in captivity, tree kangaroo must be fed with fresh vegetables like carrots, corn on the cob, sweet potato, beet root, and celery. The fruits include apple, orange, pineapple, banana, and several other stone fruits.
The tree kangaroos have the longest gestation period in marsupial. The gestation period lasts for about 39 – 46 days. After the birth of one Joey, it stays in the mother’s pouch for about 10 months. However, the Joey will permanently leave the pouch after 18 months or so.
Learn more: Kangaroo Facts for Kids
Tree Kangaroo Species
- Grizzled Tree Kangaroo
- Ursine Tree Kangaroo
- Golden-Mantled Tree Kangaroo
- Lowlands Tree Kangaroo
- Dingiso Tree Kangaroo
- Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo
- Seri’s Tree Kangaroo
- Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo
- Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo
- Doria’s Tree Kangaroo
- Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo