In the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea lives a creature that looks like a cross between a bear and a monkey, but isn't related to either. The Matschie's tree kangaroo is one of the rarest creatures on earth, and one of the numerous strange creatures that live in New Guinea, including birds with poisonous feathers and a worm-eating mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young. Many of the country's plants and animals are found only there, including 400 species of birds and 60 species of mammals, and 90 percent of Papua New Guinea is still forested. Still, tree kangaroos are so rare that scientists are still looking for answers to basic questions about the animals: What do they eat? How many are left? What do they need to survive? Sy Montgomery and a team of scientists and explorers, along with the help of native villagers, endure a three-day, mud and moss soaked hike for the chance to see tree kangaroos up close. On this expedition, the team hopes to capture, study, and fit as many tree kangaroos as possible with radio collars, as any piece of information about these creatures is helpful. While this book chronicles the search for these adorable animals, it is also a call for the preservation of cloud forests and threatened animals.
This book reads more like a narrative than a traditional nonfiction book, and will take some commitment to read from start to finish. However, those who are not put off by text and who love animals, or who are thinking about a career in science will enjoy this book. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo by Sy Montgomery includes many beautiful photographs, as well as suggestions for more information about tree kangaroos and an index.