Genetics and General Husbandry of Tree Kangaroos in Zoos

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Tree kangaroos have been kept in captive facilities for over a century. Up until the early 1980s, much of the knowledge on their behavior and reproduction was limited and based on anecdotal reports. Since the mid-1980s there has been more emphasis on behavior and reproductive research, focusing on Matschie’s tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei), with recent additional research being conducted on Goodfellow’s (D. goodfellowi) and Lumholtz’s (D. lumholtzi) species. In the past 40 years, the knowledge of tree kangaroo genetics and husbandry in managed facilities has improved immensely. While anecdotal reports still have a place in capturing information about species and individuals, research projects and data collection have become regular components of improving tree kangaroo husbandry around the world. Genetics research has been conducted on managed Matschie’s tree kangaroos to help determine founder population demographics. These data emphasized the importance of carefully planned pairings for reproductive success, while maintaining genetic diversity. Husbandry techniques are continually being evaluated and adjusted for optimal quality animal care. Through research and data collection, more questions will be answered that will continue to improve tree kangaroo husbandry in managed facilities.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Tree Kangaroos: Science and Conservation