Habitat: From highland rainforest down to lowland riparian forests, particularly in regions like the Daintree Rainforest and surrounding areas

Distribution: Far north Queensland, Australia 

Conservation status: Near-threatened on the IUCN Red List, signifying the need for conservation action

Main threats: Habitat loss via deforestation, habitat interruption due to development infrastructure 

Predators: Pythons and dingoes


The Bennett's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus bennettianus) is one of only two tree kangaroo species in Australia. Like other tree kangaroos, it has longer forelimbs and shorter hindlimbs than terrestrial kangaroos. It also has a long and bushy tail with a black-coloured spot on its base, short and rounded ears, black feet, a greyish forehead, and a rusty tint to its snout, shoulders, neck and the back of the head. 

This species is very agile and can leap up to 9 metres (30ft) through the canopy to reach another branch. It is also known to drop as far as 18 metres (59ft) to the ground without getting injured, proving its merit as one of natures great stuntmen. 

Currently, the lifespan of the Bennett’s tree kangaroo is unknown, though generally it's expected that tree kangaroos can live 15-20 years in the wild. They are known to live more than 20 years in captivity.

Males can weigh from 11.5 kg up to almost 14 kg (25 to 31 lbs), while females range between 8 to 10.6 kg (17.6 to 23 lbs). 

Fun fact: While very flexible and agile in the tree canopy, the Bennett's tree-kangaroo is surprisingly slow and clumsy on solid ground, typically jumping slowly while holding its tail erect.


herbivorous species, they mostly eats leaves, roots, and seasonal fruits, especially those of Ganophyllum, Aidia, Schefflera, the vine Pisonia and the fern Platycerium.

They are predominantly nocturnal, which means they forage and navigate territory largely at night. These territories are usually centred around large trees used for roosting during the day. Bennett's tree-kangaroos will also sun themselves atop the canopy, sitting upon vines, also hiding them from view from below.

Very little is currently known about the mating behaviour and specific breeding habits of this elusive macropod, but scientists believe that the Bennett’s tree kangaroo is likely to be an opportunistic breeder, with no set breeding season due to the similarities in weather all year round in far north Queensland. They probably have a polygynous mating system as the territory of one male can border that of multiple females. 

Female kangaroos breed every year, producing one young per litter. The calves live in the pouch of their mother for about 9 months and are fully weaned after a further three to eight months. 

The young joey will stay with its mum for another year or so. The females become sexually mature at around two years but this is unknown for males.


Having a connected rainforest is crucial to the long-term survival of this species. You can help protect Bennett’s tree kangaroo habitat in the Daintree. Find out how.

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