Melbourne Zoo

Tree Kangaroo

These  kangaroos have adapted to life in the trees. Unlike their grounded cousins, tree kangaroos are able to walk backwards: an essential skill when negotiating branches.

Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are classed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’), with numbers in the wild decreasing. Tree kangaroos are under threat due to habitat loss and increased hunting pressures as increased human activity encroaches on the traditional home ranges of the tree kangaroo. Conservation efforts include designating protected areas, captive breeding programs, and strategies to increase long-term food security for communities living in areas populated by tree kangaroos.

Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroos’ home range lies to the south of the Torricelli mountains. They are found in Papua New Guinea from Alotau through the Central Cordillera and into the West Papuan border. 

Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroos are mostly brown in colour with golden yellow limbs, a long mottled golden yellow and brown tail and two golden yellow dorsal stripes. 

They are primarily browsing herbivores, but can be considered omnivores, occasionally consuming small birds and eggs. 

Did you know?
  • Tree kangaroos can leap to the ground from heights of up to 18 metres or even more, without injury
  • Tree kangaroos are only found in  New Guinea (10 species), Irian Jaya (two species) and Australia (two species)
  • Tree kangaroos live mainly in mountainous rainforest areas
  • Dendrolagus, the name given to the tree-kangaroo genus, is derived from two Greek words: dendron (tree) and lagos (hare)