The Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo is one of two species of tree kangaroo that occurs within Australia. Due to their arboreal nature and rainforest habitat, they are very difficult to study and therefore little is known about the reproductive biology of this species. The aim of this study is to analyse faecal samples from 4 females and 2 males housed at Dreamworld for reproductive and adrenal hormones to characterize the oestrous cycle (number of cycles, timing of cycles, oestrous cycle length, patterns of hormone expression) and evaluate adrenal function. Data will be compared to husbandry records, observations of attempted matings and confirmation of birth by the production of offspring. Knowledge gained from this study will be used to improve captive breeding management of this and similar tree kangaroo species and improve our understanding of the basic reproductive biology of the Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo.

Location: Gatton campus and possibly Dreamworld

Expected outcomes: The student will gain basic laboratory skills, be trained in non-invasive hormone analysis techniques and data evaluation and will gain knowledge of tree kangaroo and marsupial reproduction. The student will also have an opportunity to generate a publication from their research.

Supervisor: Dr Tamara Keeley

Before you apply: Interest in wildlife and basic laboratory skills are desirable. Laboratory work will occur at Gatton. The student will be expected to work with an animal care officer at Dreamworld to collate relevant husbandry records for evaluation with hormone data.

Project members

Dr Tamara Keeley

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences