The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program is based at Woodland Park Zoo and in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, the eastern half of the island of New Guinea located north of Australia. This remarkable island is just now being revealed to science with a variety of new species being discovered and identified.
Kangaroos in the trees may seem strange to many people; the common image of a kangaroo is the iconic image of the variety found in Australia. But tree kangaroos, of which there are about 10 species, inhabit the tall forest canopies of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia. Looking a bit like teddy bears with long tails, these elusive marsupials were becoming rare in PNG due to hunting and loss of habitat from logging.
The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) has been successful because it has been directly involving the indigenous land owners in decisions about how and what land can be used. Also, the program helps fund health care and nutrition projects for the villagers. They in turn aid the project by protecting the tree kangaroos and the forest areas they require.
View a video of TKCP staff members Susan Tallarico and Toby Ross as they discuss the project. (Photo by Ryan Hawk)