Chapter 5: Australia’s curious tree-kangaroos: important influences (particularly knowledge) on support for their conservation
This chapter and the next one focus on support for the conservation of wildlife species that are poorly known (tree-kangaroos and the mahogany glider) and pay particular attention to the influence of knowledge on stated support for their conservation. In comparison to these species, the species considered in the previous two chapters (sea turtles and elephants) are well known by the general public. Australia and New Guinea possess unusual kangaroos (belonging to the genus Dendrolagus), which climb and live in trees. The two Australian species are Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) and Bennett’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus bennettianus). These species occur only in Far North Queensland and have been seen by relatively few people. They are uncommon, particularly in comparison to their ground-dwelling distant relatives such as the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the common wallaroo (Macropus robustus). The purpose of this chapter is to report and interpret the results relevant to tree-kangaroo conservation obtained from surveys and an experiment designed to determine important factors influencing the Australian public’s support for the conservation of Australia’s tropical wildlife species. This chapter is developed as follows: first, background is provided on the status and nature of Australia’s tree-kangaroos, and then the type of surveys conducted and associated experiments are outlined.
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