The black-spotted cuscus is a marsupial known only from northern parts of the island of New Guinea.
They have characteristic vertically split pupils that are useful for being nocturnal, and arched front claws and a grasping tail helpful in their arboreal (live in trees) lifestyle. It is thought to have been driven to the brink of extinction by increasing human pressure on its forest habitat. One of the largest species of cuscus, and of the family Phalangeridae, this species is targeted by hunters throughout its range, who are the only known predators of the black-spotted cuscus. This hunting pressure, together with large-scale habitat conversion for agriculture and settlements throughout its range has drastically reduced numbers, and wiped out the species from many parts of its former range.
- Order: Diprotodontia
- Family: Phalangeridae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 33-64cm
- Weight: 6-7kg
Widespread, though patchily distributed, in northern New Guinea (Papua, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). It has been recorded from sea level to 1,200m.
Habitat and Ecology
Black-spotted cuscus occur in primarily lowland and lower montane tropical forests, also sometimes being found in secondary forest. Very little is known about the ecology of the black-spotted cuscus. They are arboreal, probably nocturnal, and their diet consists of leaves and fruit.