Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo

Ornate tree-kangaroo

Dendrolagus goodfellowi
Population size
Life Span
8-14 yrs
7.4-7.5 kg
58-78 cm

Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo has soft reddish-brown fur and golden bands on their tail. Meanwhile, each individual has its own unique pattern of brown. The limbs, face and underbelly of the animal are golden colored. This kangaroo exhibits two bands, stretching upwards from its long tail to its back. Being a tree-kangaroo, this animal has a number of differences with the commonly known ground kangaroos, since it has adapted to arboreal lifestyle. In addition, as opposed to their ground-dwelling relatives, these kangaroos are able to move their hind feet independently. The limbs are strong and powerful, having rubbery soles, which help the animal easily grasp tree branches, whereas the tail provides balance.


The habitat of Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo is dense tropical rainforest as well as deciduous forests over mountainous ranges. The animal is distributed from the border of central Irian Jaya (Indonesia) to central and eastern Papua New Guinea.

Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo habitat map


Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a territorial and solitary animal. Territories of male kangaroos are larger, overlapping these of several females. Those living in areas with high population density are typically nocturnal, whereas those in captivity and in rarely-visited areas in the wild are most active in the morning and afternoon. Generally, however, these animals avoid densely populated areas. Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos forage on the ground, staying near trees in order to find shelter in a case of danger. After feeding, the animal sleeps, saving energy while the food is being digested. Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo spends 60% of its time sleeping wherever it feels safe, since the animal does not have a specific sleeping site.

Diet and Nutrition

The diet of this herbivorous kangaroo primarily consists of Silkwood leaves, supplemented with flowers, shoots, creepers, ferns, cereals, fruits and grasses.

Mating Habits

21-38 days
1 joey
11-13 months
jill, roo
jack, boomer

Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroos are polygamous, meaning that each male can mate with multiple females. Goodfellow's tree-kangaroos mate at any time of year without having any specific mating season. The gestation period last for 21 - 38 days, and a single young is usually born. As soon as being born, the joey climbs into its mother's pouch without any help, living there for the first 10 - 12 months of its life. Leaving the pouch, the young still returns to nurse for the following several months. It becomes fully independent after 11-13 months and reaches maturity at 2 years of age.


Population threats

Presently, these animals are hunted for food across the area of their habitat. Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroos are also traded for cultural reasons by local people. Furthermore, loss of habitat is among other serious threats: deforestation for timber, coffee, rice (dryland) as well as wheat plantations pose a notable concern for the population of this species.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo is unknown for today. The species is currently classified as Endangered (EN), and its numbers are decreasing.

Cool Facts

  • The species is given its name after Walter Goodfellow, who discovered this animal.
  • The hopping steps of this kangaroo are quite small and the animal is unable to move more than two "kangaroo hops" in succession. When hopping, the two forelegs and the two hind legs of the kangaroo touch the ground alternately.
  • The animal has a slow reaction and is very clumsy on the ground.
  • These kangaroos are excellent jumpers, able to jump up to 9 meters (30 feet) down from one tree to another.
  • The strong bond between a mother and her offspring is the only example of close relationships between these animals.
  • When the weather gets hot, these kangaroos lick themselves in order to keep cool.
  • There are 12 species of tree-kangaroo out of 60 kangaroo species.


1. Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo Wikipedia article -
2. Goodfellow's Tree-Kangaroo on The IUCN Red List site -

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