Cute Roos In Trees

Alan Gilanders has been fascinated by natural history since he was a child. Brought up in western Cape York Peninsular he’s now a Tablelander who runs Alan’s Wildlife Tours, works as a consulting naturalist and is involved in many conservation organisations. He’s chuffed tree kangaroos call the Atherton Tablelands home too.

What is the best time of day to spot a tree kangaroo?

There is no best time to see tree-kangaroos. They are episodic in their behaviours and can be encountered day or night.

Where are the best locations?

The best locations for finding Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo are Nerada Tea Plantation near Malanda and Wongabel State Forest near Atherton.

What do they like to eat?

Tree-kangaroos eat a wide range of leaves from trees, vines and epiphytes. Like most herbivores they will take a high protein meal (flesh) if they can get it.

What makes them so special?

These amazing animals are real kangaroos but have some special adaptations. Their front limbs are much more strongly developed than their cousins from the plains, their tails are long and heavy which are good for balance and the pads on their feet are like a non-slip bathmat. They can walk in the trees, forwards or backwards and will sometimes even use their arms to swing across gaps (brachiate).

Why are the rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands perfect for them?

The rich soils of the Atherton Tablelands produce trees with high nutritional values in their leaves and this makes for valuable habitat. It seems that they are not well adapted to coastal areas. Dispersing animals can turn up well away from habitat suitable for sustaining a population. Cars and dogs are the greatest killers of tree-kangaroos in Australia.

Photo: @Amie.hindson.photography 

Written by Tanya Snelling. Originally published 17th October 2017