Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi
Image Caption: Dendrolagus lumholtzi. Credit: Joseph Smit/Wikipedia
Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) can be found in the Atherton Tableland Region in Queensland. It prefers a habitat within secondary rainforests, but can be found on the edges of eucalypt forests. Its scientific and common names were given in honor of Carl Sofus Lumholtz, a Norwegian explorer. Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo can reach an average body length between 1.5 and 2.1 feet with tail length of up to 2.4 feet. Males weigh an average of 16 pounds while females are smaller weighing about 13 pounds. Its fur is grey in color and its nose, paws, and the tip of the tail are black.
Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo is nocturnal and social in nature, gathering in groups of up to five. These groups consist of male and female pairs. The groups are not always together, and each individual holds its own home range. Males are more aggressive than females, defending their home ranges against all other males excluding their own young. Males will enter into the home ranges of females in order to breed, which is a highly aggressive act.
In the past, Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo was threatened by habitat loss, but current populations are protected from this threat by the establishment of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, where much of its total population can be found. Because of this past habitat destruction, fragmentation has occurred, and secondary threats like predation by dogs are increasing. Experts assert that reforestation efforts could reverse some of habitat fragmentation of this species, which could help bolster its population numbers. This species is considered a flagship species and is held in high regard within its natural range, but more research is needed for full conservation efforts to be initiated. Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Endangered.”