Far north Queensland is home to wonderful creatures – but some of them are hard to see in the wild. If you’re very lucky you’ll see a cassowary strolling through the Daintree rainforest or the beautiful Cassowary Coast region. But getting to see a tree kangaroo in the wild is the wildlife equivalent of winning the lottery. They’re rare, reclusive, they blend in to the vegetation very well, and they occur in a very small area of FNQ.
Because they are so rarely seen, there’s still a lot we don’t know about tree kangaroos. But the crew at The Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas are trying to do something about that. They have several Lumholz tree kangaroos at the habitat – including the only breeding tree kangaroos in captivity anywhere in the world. The Lumholz is a very rare creature, and up close, they’re beautiful and quite talkative too.
This week, undergraduate students from the Atherton Tablelands School for Field Studies are researching the scent marking behaviour of Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos – a valuable opportunity to observe and document some of the actions of this elusive species. “They’re only found in the central and southern parts of the Wet Tropics World Heritage region, making them very difficult to find, let alone research,” says Clare Anderson, wildlife manager at the Wildlife Habitat.
You can see the tree kangaroos at the Wildlife Habitat, and lots of other FNQ creatures too.
Listen to meet Lily the tree kangaroo, and hear Clare Anderson talk about these beautiful creatures.
I visited the Wildllife Habitat with ABC Far North wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen. You can hear Martin on Wednesday afternoons at 445 on my radio program. Read more about Martin at http://www.wildaboutaustralia.com/