Photos of baby Matschie's tree kangaroo
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
June 14, 2007
A baby Matschie's tree kangaroo, called a joey, cuddles with its mom at the Bronx Zoo's JungleWorld exhibit, an Asian rain forest habitat. Photo by J. Maher © WCS.
Matschie's tree kangaroos are native to the mountainous rainforests (elevation: 1000 and 3300 meters) of the Huon Peninsula of northeastern New Guineaa. They are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List due to hunting and logging. This joey was the only Matschie's tree kangaroo born in North America last year as part of a captive breeding program among accredited North American zoos.
Matschie's tree kangaroo spends most of its time in trees, though it occasionally comes down to the group to feed. The species eats leaves, fruits and mosses, according to Wikipedia, which also notes that instead of sweating, Matschie's tree kangaroo licks its forearms to allow evaporation to cool down.
New Guinea, the world's second largest island, is divided between of two countries: Papua New Guinea (eastern half) and the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat (western half). The island is famous for its cultural diversity, nearly 1000 languages are spoken by its people; and its biological diversity, 5-10 percent of Earth's terrestrial species are found in its forests.
While much of New Guinea is densely forested, logging is fast accelerating in parts of the island, especially in the provinces controlled by Indonesia. Anthropologists and biologists are concerned about the resulting cultural and biological loss.
A baby Matschie's tree kangaroo, called a joey, peeks out from its mother's pouch at the Bronx Zoo's JungleWorld exhibit, an Asian rain forest habitat. Like other marsupials, this joey spent its first months in its mother's pouch. Photo by J. Maher © WCS.