12 August, 2008

Tree-Kangaroo Update

This Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroo was photographed by Petersen Creek in Yungaburra at about 9.30 am. She is licking the inside of her pouch and appeared to swallow something which would indicate she has a pouch young. The young will not defecate or urinate until the mother licks its cloaca. This means that carers of orphaned marsupials must do the same. (Well at least a reasonable facsimile.) They will wipe the young with a warm damp cloth to stimulate voiding.

The Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroos of the western end of Curtain Figtree National Park are spending muck of the evenings feeding low to the ground. This has led to our disturbing Joan on one occasion and Jill twice in the last two weeks. Still, they recovered from their frights and have been relaxed when we saw them later. I hope Jill is not too angry with me as one the 11th she was almost on the ground. I took my guests quietly past her but then could not resist checking her out from a bit further away. As she climbed the huge Milky Pine, Alstonia scholaris, she made the woofing alarm call. This is something which not many people have heard and I had never heard it from her, despite almost standing on her one night.
Jill is still sharing her territory with Joan despite Joan now being three and a half years old. Joan has shown no signs of having pouch young yet. Jill's young from last year, Peta, was not with her the two times I saw her in the first week of August. It would not mean anything that during the disturbing incident of the 11th Peta was not seen. One of my guests did believe that there was another animal on the ground behind the tree. We will just have to wait and see but perhaps Peta has left home.
Pexie sitting in Turbina corymbosa, a vine from central America. She ate this while we watched.

Dorothy when she was much younger.
Photo by Jun Matsui who is soon to release his photo book on the wildlife of north Queensland, text in Japanese
As a joey she was almost black and white but has become more typical as she aged. Her arms used to be dark up to the elbow and her legs to the hips. Since maturing her back has become more tan and the shoulders darker. Her face now has the light forehead of an adult.

Dorothy is still spending most of her time across the highway which I remain disappointed about. I am happy that she is not often crossing the road.

No comments: