The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program envisions a sustainable, healthy, and resilient Huon Peninsula landscape which supports the area’s unique biodiversity, human communities, and culture.


The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program fosters wildlife and habitat conservation and supports local community livelihoods in Papua New Guinea through global partnerships, land protection, and scientific research.


Saving the Tree Kangaroos

Experience the pristine cloud forests of Papua New Guinea and explore Woodland Park Zoo's renowned Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program with storyteller and friend of the animals, Penny LeGate and Seattle Channel. Discover endangered tree kangaroos, a community of conservationists and the surprising connection to a Seattle coffee company. Join Penny for this up-close look at our conservation in action!


Conservation Approach


The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program believes that effective conservation requires a holistic approach which responds to the needs of wildlife, people, and the ecosystems they depend upon. By addressing the social, cultural and economic needs of local communities, conservationists benefit from a wider network of stakeholders and a broader range of options to reduce the threats to sustainability and biodiversity. Indigenous communities have a major interest in maintaining local wildlife and habitat because of strong cultural connections and a high dependence on natural resources for subsistence. When these communities are provided with the knowledge and opportunity to influence decisions affecting their lives, they become invaluable partners and effective stewards for sustainable conservation.

Examples of TKCP’s conservation approach in action:

  • Working together with local communities, the PNG government, and Conservation International, TKCP helped to establish Papua New Guinea’s first nationally-protected area: The YUS Conservation Area

  • TKCP created and trained the country’s first Conservation Rangers to conduct patrols and monitor wildlife in the YUS Conservation Area

  • In partnership with Seattle’s Caffe Vita, TKCP connected coffee farmers in YUS with training and access to niche markets, bringing sustainable YUS Conservation Coffee to the international market and providing farmers with increased incomes. TKCP aims to replicate this successful model in partnership with specialty chocolatiers and YUS cocoa farmers

  • TKCP has provided a YUS Teachers Scholarship to help more than 20 YUS students graduate from Baleb Teacher’s College. These teachers have returned to YUS, filling vacant teaching positions and providing hundreds of children with the opportunity to earn an education. These children will inherit their clan’s land and become the future conservation leaders of YUS.

  • TKCP partners with volunteer health professionals to provide information and training regarding the relationship between the environment and health. Trainings promote sustainable resource management and encourage healthy behaviors, nutrition, pregnancy and childbirth, and the prevention and treatment of common illnesses in YUS.

  • Ongoing research into the ecology and behavior of Matschie’s tree kangaroos is used to inform decisions regarding the management of the YUS Conservation Area. With a greater understanding of the tree kangaroo’s needs, TKCP and its partners can ensure the YUS Conservation Area’s effectiveness in protecting the species.

For more information about our work, please visit Our Program page or look through our Annual Reports.