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iWild: For more see iWild.org

Like Teddy Bears with Claws

Think kangaroos can’t hack it in the trees? Sure they can, with specially-adapted fur whorls to shed water, long claws for clinging, and an extra-long tail for balance. As long as no one cuts the trees down. Unfortunately for today’s Endangered All-Star, the Huon Tree Kangaroo (or Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo) is struggling to hang onto its habitat, with much lost to logging, mining, and coffee cultivation. Many are killed for their meat, and the fur has long been used in traditional ceremonies. Lisa Dabek of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, had worked for years on a captive-breeding program for these animals. Recently, she joined with native people in the region to establish the YUS Conservation Area, the country’s first, which will remain under the control and management of the people. The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program offers scholarships, education, and health care, helping get the word out about the need to conserve the unique species of the region. It also provides support for New Guinean biologists and specialists doing research. Covering over 180,000 acres, YUS may allow tree kangaroo populations to recover. There are videos at the links above and another at the National Geographic website showing tree kangaroos frisking in their forest home.
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