Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo Fact File

Dendrolagus lumholtzi


5.1-9.85 kg






Wild - 6 years

Captive - 15 years



Leaves, Fruits

conservation status


Near Threatened

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Lumholtz's tree kangaroo is one of the two species of tree kangaroo which are found in Australia. They live in a small area of the Daintree rainforest in the northern areas of Queensland.

Related to the better known kangaroos found on the ground these animals adapted for a life in the trees where there are few predators to challenge them. Their limbs have adapted to be capable of moving independently allowing them to climb up and down trees.


What does Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo look like?

These animals have dark-grey or black fur across their body. On the underside this becomes pale. Their long face is coloured black with a ring of pale fur running around it. Males which have achieved sexual maturity will have an orange patch on the inside of their thigh.

At the end of the body is a long tail which is covered by dark fur which measures 47-80cm (18.5-21.5in) long.

Males are larger than females. An average individual will measure 42-71cm (16.5-28in) long with a weight of between 5.1 and 9.85kg (11.2-21.7lbs). This is the smallest of the tree kangaroo species.


How does the Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo survive in its habitat?

The Lumholtz's tree kangaroo has an opposable thumb which alongside their claws help to provide graip when they are in the trees. They have a textured pad on the hind feet which help to prevent them slipping as they climb. Their ability to move through the trees is a result of their hind legs which can move independently.

Their long tail provides them with balance as they move through the trees.

Along the back the fur grows outwards from a central point on the spine. This helps the water to run off of their back while they are sleeping.

These animals do not sweat. Instead they will lick their forearms and as this evaporates it will help to cool their body.

Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)


What does Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo eat?

Lumholtz's tree kangaroos are considered herbivores with their diet made up of a range of leaves, vines, fruit and flowers. Occasionally they will feed on crops which are located at the forest edge.


Where do you the find the Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo?

Australia is the native home of the Lumholtz's tree kangaroo. Here they live only in a small area of rainforest in Northern Queensland. This species previously occurred primarily in lowland habitats but as this is cleared they are increasingly living in upland areas.

Males will create their own territory which they defend aggressively against entry by other males. Females maintain a smaller territory and this may overlap the ranges of several males.


Where can Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo survive?

These animals primarily occur in rainforest habitats but have also been observed in riparian habitats or sclerophyll forest.

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How does Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo produce its young?

Lumholtz's tree kangaroo are able to reproduce at any time throughout the year.

Males have a range which overlaps that of several female individuals. They can mate with all of these female within their range but her range may also overlap that of several males. Males produce a low clucking sound which appears to help attract the interest of a potential mate. Along with this he paws at her head and shoulders.

At the end of mating the male will deposit a sperm plug which prevents fertilization by other males.

Following a 45 day gestation period the female will produce a single joey which moves to the pouch where it spends the next 8-12 months drinking milk. They may spend a further two years with their mother. This time provides for the young to learn which leaves and other items are safe for them to eat in the wild.

Females will typically mate again two months after her last joey has left the pouch.

Sexual maturity is achieved at three years old. Males tend to mature at an older age than the females.


What does Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo do during its day?

These animals are considered nocturnal meaning that the majority of their activity will take place at night. During the day they make use of a sturdy branch where they sleep.

Much of their time is spent in the trees. Individuals tend to only come to the ground when absolutely necessary to allow them to escape a predator. They have the ability to jump from 15 metres high in the trees and land safely on the ground.

Lumholz's tree kangaroo is considered solitary with very little interaction between adult individuals.

Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)

Predators and Threats

What stops the Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo from surviving and thriving?

Natural predators of the Lumholtz's tree kangaroo include dingoes and pythons. Juveniles may also be captured by birds of prey such as eagles.

This species is considered uncommon with a population of between 10,000 and 20,000 individuals found in the Northern rainforests of Australia. Some studies have noted that a population is in decline.

Habitat loss was a significant threat to this species but the declaration of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area has helped to slow this threat. An increase in fragmentation of the habitat has caused a decline in genetic movement through the population. Climate change is affecting the quality of rainforests which may present a future threat to the species.

Increasing human populations in northern Australia have led to a growth in recorded vehicle accidents with this species. They are also threatened by domestic dogs.

Quick facts

Indigenous people of Australia refer to this species as the boongarry, mabi or mapee.

Tree kangaroos are the largest species of tree-dwelling mammal found in Australia.

The ancestors of all kangaroos now found in Australia lived in the trees. Several million years ago they came down to the ground before the tree kangaroos once again returned and began to exploit the trees again. With few predators able to reach them there it is thought this offers a level of safety.

It took over a 100 years after Europeans arrived in Australia for them to discover the tree kangaroo. This species was first described for science in 1883 following their discovery in 1883 by Norwegian explorer, Carl Lumholtz.


Queensland Government Staff (2023) ‘Queensland’s Protected Species - Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo’. Brisbane: Queensland Government.

Australian Wildlife Society Staff (2019) ‘Tree Kangaroos’. Hurtsville: Australian Wildlife Society.

Parish, S. (2016) Field guide to Australian mammals. Glebe, NSW, Australia: Pascal Press.

Procter-Gray, Elizabeth. & Harvard University. n.d., The behavior and ecology of Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi (Marsupialia: Macropodidae) (arboreal, folivore, rainforest) [microform]

Oakvale Wildlife Staff (2022) Lumholtz tree kangaroo: Our animals, Oakvale Wildlife. Available at: (Accessed: 06 June 2023).

Hewitt, C. (2021) Get to know Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo, Nerada Tea. Available at: (Accessed: 06 June 2023).

Kellner, D. 2012. "Dendrolagus lumholtzi" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed June 06, 2023 at

Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A. 2016. Dendrolagus lumholtziThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6432A21957815. Accessed on 06 June 2023.

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