Matschie's Tree Kangaroo

This species has a longer gestation period than any other marsupial. The youngster, called a joey, uses its mother's pouch for almost a year.

Despite its size, Matschie's tree kangaroo is well-suited to its arboreal lifestyle, able to climb well and jump up to 9 m (30 ft) between branches. On the ground they walk rather than hop but up in the trees, they can leap to the ground from a height of 18 m (60 ft) without injury. Matschie's tree kangaroos live solitary lives. The young joey remains completely hidden in the female's pouch for nearly 3.5 months.

Distribution: Confined to the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, in the vicinity of the Huon Peninsula, where hunting has rendered it endangered.

Weight: 6 - 7.5 kg (13 - 17 lb); females are larger.

Length: 93 - 168 cm (37 - 66 in), including tail, which is almost as long as the body.

Maturity: 2 years.

Gestation Period: 39 - 45 days; young tree kangaroos measure 2.5 cm (1 in) long.

Breeding: 1.

Food: Mainly  herbivorous, eating plant matter including bark; also takes invertebrates and birds' eggs.

Lifespan: Up to 14 years.


Fur grows in opposite directions on this part of the body, ensuring rainwater runs off the coat efficiently.


The nose is large and pink, with prominent nostrils.


A fairly unusual mahogany and yellow patterning distinguishes this species.


The tail is long but is simply used for balancing, rather than for gripping tree branches.

Limb length

An obvious feature of tree kangaroos is the fact that their forelimbs are almost as long as their hind limbs.


Both the front and hind legs are important in assisting Matschie's tree kangaroos to move around in their natural environment.