Australia / Travel / Wildlife

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

12 Nov ’13

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Female Lumhotlz Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus Atherton

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

They are as close to monkey as we get in Australia. Finally, after two trips to the Atherton tablelands I managed to get a view of our tree kangaroos. Well, there are two species of tree kangaroo in Australia, this is the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). This species is listed as Near Threatened in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and it is ranked as a low priority for conservation under the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. It is not hard when looking at an aerial photo (or driving through the tablelands) to see that habitat is greatly fragmented and reduced to pockets of rainforest and poorly connected by skinny corridors.

Ce sont un peu nos “singes” en Australie. Enfin, apres deux trips dans l’Atherton tableland j’ai réussi a trouver et faire des photos de ce kangourous arboricole aussi appelé Dendrolague de Lumholtz (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). Cette espèce est listée comme quasi menacée dans l’état du Queensland (elle n’existe que dans ces état d’ailleurs). Rien qu’en jetant un coup d’oeil sur google map on peut se rendre compte du souci d’habitat de ces animaux, de petite poches de foret tropicale sont tres mal connectes par des corridors pas tres large.

Juvenile Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo by © Nicolas Rakotopare Atherton

Juvenile Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo by © Nicolas Rakotopare in Atherton

I am even more lucky in the sense that I got to see 3 individuals, including a juvenile. It was one of the greatest wildlife encounter of the year. I can’t wait to go back to the north and try and find the even more elusive Bennet’s tree kangaroo…

J’ai ete tres chanceux car je suis tombe nez a nez avec un trio, une femelle son petit et un male au pied de l’arbre. C’est une de mes rencontres animalières les plus marquantes de cette année.
Male Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo by © Nicolas Rakotopare in Atherton

Male Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo portrait by © Nicolas Rakotopare in Atherton Male Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo by © Nicolas Rakotopare in Atherton

On the photography side of things, light was getting dim (late afternoon) and the mum and juvenile were really high in the canopy. They moved to a spot where I could not see them 15Mins after I first found them so I had to be quick. I made most of the focal length the extender and my APS-C sensor could give me (7D + 300mm + x2 extender)… For the male, it was a bit easier to get close up as he was in a lower branch at reasonable distance.

Sur le plan photo, la lumiere était peu presente (fin d’apres-midi) et la position de la mere et son petit tres haut dans la canopée n’arrangeait pas les choses. Ils ont d’ailleurs disparus 15minutes apres que je les ai trouves. J’etais bien content d’etre sur capteur APS-C (avec mon 300 et l’extender x2). Pour le male c’était plus simple car il était bien plus bas.

If you want more info on this incredible aussie animal, go to http://www.tree-kangaroo.net/tkInfo.html or http://www.treeroorescue.org.au/ to see what the amazing work from carers up there. (Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TreeRooRescue)

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I am a nature photographer specialising in wildlife photography. I have a special passion for this type of photography which comes from my background as an ecologist & conservation biologist.

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