Bennett's Tree-Kangaroo

Bennett's Tree-Kangaroo

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Infraclass
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Dendrolagus bennettianus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
15-20 yrs
WEIGHT
8-14 kg
LENGTH
69-76 cm

A large species of tree-kangaroo, Bennett's tree-kangaroo has a long and bushy tail with a black colored spot on its base, exhibiting a light marking on the upper part. The kangaroo has short, rounded ears. The muzzle and forehead of the animal are greyish, while hands and feet are black. Compared to terrestrial kangaroos, Bennett's tree-kangaroo has shorter hind-limbs and longer forelimbs. The animal is dark brown above, while the chin, throat and lower abdomen of kangaroo are lighter fawn. Currently, the information about lifespan of Bennett’s tree-kangaroo is not available, though generally, tree-kangaroos live 15 - 20 years in the wild and are known to live more than 20 years in captivity.

Distibution

The Bennett's tree-kangaroo occurs in northeastern Queensland (Australia). The range of the kangaroo is restricted to the area between the Daintree River in the south, Mountain Amos in the north and Mountain Windsor in the west. The natural habitat of this species stretches from highland tropical rainforests down to lowland riparian forests.

Bennett's Tree-Kangaroo habitat map

Geography

Continents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Adult individuals of this species usually live solitarily. Territories of Bennett’s tree-kangaroos stretch around large trees, where the animals roost during the day. Home ranges of males are typically larger than these of females, often overlapping with territories of 2 - 3 females. Meanwhile, territories of female kangaroos do not overlap with these of other females. By day, the kangaroos conceal themselves sitting within the canopy and hiding among vines. They also spend their time sunbathing on the top of the canopy, usually sitting upon vines and remaining unspotted from below. Leaving their roosts at night, the animals move to feed trees to forage. When in the canopy, the kangaroos are very agile, moving easily amongst trees; they can make a long leap of up to 9 meters down to a branch of the adjacent tree while the tail helps them keep balance when travelling among branches. When on the ground, the kangaroos move around by hopping, leaned forward and holding their tail erect.

Diet and Nutrition

The favorite food of these folivorous kangaroos is tree leaves, especially those of Ganophyllum, Aidia, Schefflera, the vine Pisonia and the fern Platycerium. In addition, they can also consume fruits on occasion.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
any time of the year
BABY CARRYING
1 joey
INDEPENDENT AGE
2 years
FEMALE NAME
jill, roo
MALE NAME
jack, boomer
BABY NAME
joey

Currently, very little is known about the mating behavior and process of this species. They probably have polygynous mating system, where one male mates with numerous females. Meanwhile, the territory of one male can border these of multiple females. These kangaroos are most likely to be opportunistic breeders rather than having a specific breeding season, considering that they inhabit tropical rainforest, where seasons of the year are poorly defined. Female kangaroos breed every year, yielding a single baby per litter. The calves live in the pouch of their mother for about 9 months and stay with her for up to 2 years. Adult male kangaroos typically associate with young when contacting adult females. However, there have been known cases of adult males accompanying young kangaroos who had lost their mother. The age of sexual maturity in males is presently unknown, whereas females are likely to become mature at 2 years old.

Population

Population threats

Bennett's tree-kangaroos have long suffered from hunting by Aborigines, which hugely reduced the population of the species across the area of their habitat. On the other hand, the species is currently threatened with deforestation, which, despite not affecting the populations directly and immediately, leads to habitat fragmentation, making the Bennett's tree-kangaroos exposed to terrestrial predation. Bennett's tree-kangaroos are also threatened with habitat interruption by roads, which adversely affect the population number of the species.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Bennett’s tree-kangaroo is relatively common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. However, the species is currently classified as Near Threatened (NT) and its numbers appear to be stable.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Bennett’s tree-kangaroo originates from ground-dwelling kangaroo.
  • The scientific term 'Dendrolagus' has Greek origin, consisting of the words 'dendron' (tree) and 'lagos' (hare). In 1842, a German naturalist Dr. Salomon Müller used the word "hare" when describing the game-like properties of the kangaroo's meat.
  • These amazingly agile animals are capable of making long leaps of up to 9 meters (30 ft) from one branch down to another. In addition, they can drop to the ground from the height of up to 18 meters (59 ft) without any harm.
  • At the warm season, the animals lick their fur on the lower part of the body. As a result, evaporation of moisture helps them cool off.
  • When on trees, the kangaroo is very flexible and agile. However, the animal is surprisingly slow and clumsy on the solid ground, typically jumping slowly while holding its tail erect.
  • Unlike other macropod species, tree kangaroos move their hind limbs independently rather than walking with the characteristic synchronous manner.
  • These kangaroos are able to quickly climb trees due to having rubbery soles.

References

1. Bennet's Tree-Kangaroo Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett%27s_tree-kangaroo
2. Bennet's Tree-Kangaroo on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6426/0

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