Dendrolagus lumholtzi

Description

The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is the smallest of the 14 tree kangaroo species. They’re from the same family as our famous kangaroos but unlike their larger relatives, they can move their legs independently.

The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo climbs a tree by gripping the trunk or branch with their forelimbs and then pushing up with the hindlimbs (moving in reverse, tail-first, when descending). Nearing the ground, a tree kangaroo will release its hold on the trunk and kick off with its hindlegs and land on the rainforest floor and hop away.

Size

The head and body length of the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo ranges from 480–650 mm, and their tail, 600–740 mm, weighing 6.6kgs.

Habitat

The original preferred habitat of the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo was coastal lowland rainforest. However, it is now more common at higher altitudes above 300 m due to clearing of lowland habitat.

Distribution

The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is endemic to the wet tropics in Far North Queensland, Australia. The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is found in the rainforest of tropical Queensland, centred on the Atherton Tablelands, extending north as far as the Carbine Tableland, where the distribution of the Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo begins.

Breeding

The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo do not appear to have a definite breeding season. Sexual maturity occurs in males at about 4.5 years of age, and in females as early as 2 years. Males “court” females by uttering a soft clucking sound and softly pawing her head and shoulders. When the female moves away the male follows, pawing at the base of her tail.

Following mating there is a gestation period of 42–48 days which is the longest known gestation of any marsupial. The female gives birth to a single joey which attaches to a teat in the pouch (the teat becomes enlarged prior to birth).