Home range of the Huon tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei, in cloud forest on the Huon peninsula, Papua New Guinea

Porolak, Gabriel (2008) Home range of the Huon tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei, in cloud forest on the Huon peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

Tree kangaroos (Marsupialia: Macropodidae, Dendrolagus) are some of Australasia's least known mammals. Basic questions concerning the population and conservation status of many species remain unanswered. However, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence of population decline and local extinctions to designate tree kangaroos as New Guinea's most endangered mammal group. Tree kangaroo home ranges were sampled at one site in Papua New Guinea (Wasaunon). Radio telemetry analyses were used to estimate home range sizes, which were estimated to be 81.8 ± 28.8 ha for males and 80.8 ± 20.3 ha for female Huon tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei). Food plants species for Huon tree kangaroos (D. matschiei), were collected at Wasaunon with the aid of landowners, and later identified by botanists in Papua New Guinea and Australia. The collections support Australian data that tree kangaroos are browsers, with the largest proportion of their diet coming from leaves and shoots from a wide variety of plants from at least 18 families for the Huon tree kangaroos, and at least 40 families from a previous study conducted in the same region (Dendawang) approximately 35km southeast of Wasaunon. Landowners from different areas of the region were in agreement that tree kangaroos prefer eating leaves and stems of plants, with fruits and flowers comprising a relatively minor proportion of the animals' diets. Additional information on tree kangaroo biology and conservation status was obtained through the use of informal landowner interviews. Interviews did not produce quantifiable results, but they did give some insights into tree kangaroo food plant species and human utilisation. The responses indicated that over 70 species of food plants were being utilized by the Huon tree kangaroos, D. matschiei, at Wasaunon, and an additional 91 species from Dendawang.

Item ID: 29818
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: Huon tree kangaroos; Dendrolagus matschiei; Wasaunon; Dendawang; Papua New Guinea; population estimates; diet
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2013 04:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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