Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

 

Atherton Tablelands largest mammal, Far North Queensland, Australia

Atherton Tablelands largest mammal, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is the largest mammal within the ‘mabi forests along the Atherton Tablelands. Due to habitat loss and all other modern world influences, it is listed as endangered. 

Natural environment for tree kangaroos at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Natural environment for tree kangaroos at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

As the name suggests, the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo spends predominately of its time in trees. This cuts the chances of seeing a tree kangaroo in wild nature to very slim, unless you are very lucky to detect one. 

The extremely friendly staff at the Ravenshoe Information Centre pointed me to a few areas, where tree kangaroos have been frequently sighted.

Giant tea pot at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Giant tea pot at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

One of these hotspots happens to be near a giant tea pot.

Tea plantation at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tea plantation at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The rich soil and cooler climate are ideal for tea plantations. A rare macropod and a nice cuppa tea add up nicely to an extraordinary experience. 

Hopeful to see a tree kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Hopeful to see a tree kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I was really hoping that I would see a tree kangaroo when I arrived at the tea plantation. The helpful personnel at the restaurant said that indeed a tree kangaroo was sighted this morning, not far of the road. Even though I kept my eyes peeled, I didn’t notice this fella driving by.

Bon Appetit, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Bon Appetit, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

High above in the tree top of a dead tree, it was munching on a rather dry diet.

Tree Kangaroo silhouette at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tree Kangaroo silhouette at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

How cute is this tree kangaroo? However, the angle of the sun wasn’t in my favour.

High above the tree line, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

High above the tree line, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I carefully walked around the bushes and had a colourful view with the sun shining on to his brown fur.

Chubby Tree Kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Chubby Tree Kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

This tree kangaroo was a well fed, even chubby.

Long tail security at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Long tail security at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

His extremely long and strong tail rested on the tree branches, ready to grip just in case of a slip-up.

Don’t worry, be happy, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Don’t worry, be happy, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

He seemed not worried about me at all, as he kept scratching his thick fur. 

Shape of a sloth? Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Shape of a sloth? Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Evolution changed its typical kangaroo appearance, it had more of a resemblance to a sloth, I thought.

Restless tree kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Restless tree kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

His movements were just as fluent, although it seemed a bit restless.

Undecided Tree Kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Undecided Tree Kangaroo at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

He kept an eye out for me as well, but was undecided on his next move.

Aye captain, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Aye captain, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

At times, it looked like a sailor on the high mast, keeping an eye out for danger.

Curling up at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Curling up at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

With the belly full and no desire to move anywhere, it nestled up in the tree top.

Nap time at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Nap time at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

All curled up on a rather thin branch, it somehow managed to roll in to a comfortable position for a nap. Similar to a koala’s diet, their food is not highly nutritious.

Sleeping beauty at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Sleeping beauty at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

He looked rather peaceful up on the tree top. With no more movement expected for a while, I left this sleeping beauty resting. Wow, what an experience. Just to be able seeing one of these rare and diverse mammals in nature was an incredible experience. 

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo in black and white, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo in black and white, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The evolutionary history of tree kangaroos begins a long, long time ago with a rainforest floor dwelling pademelon-like ancestor. As the Australian continent experienced a drier climate, rainforests were receding to a drier and rockier outcrop. After some generations of adapting to a new environment, a rock wallaby-like machropode evolved. Some of those ancestral rock wallabies adapted to climbing trees, which then developed to the now extinct ancestral tree-kangaroo genus ’bohra’. Out of 14 subspecies of tree kangaroos, only 2 species remained on the Australian continent. The other 12 species drifted off the Australian plateau, which is now known as New Guinea. The Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo is the smallest of all tree kangaroos. 

Solitary forest dweller, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Solitary forest dweller, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

It lives a solitary life and only meets other Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos for mating purposes.  Let’s hope that they remain alive in our natural world. 

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