The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Phalanger matanim Flannery, 1987:184

Telefomin cuscus



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1998 or before

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)


A Telefomin cuscus may have been encountered, though not collected, in 1997 (Leary et. al. 2008). The entire habitat of this species is believed to have been destroyed during a huge bushfire in 1998. It is unlikely that any significant population survived the bushfires to repopulate the area, and no individuals have been reported since. The species is therefore likely to be at least functionally extinct.



West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: AM M 14186

Type locality: "upper Sol River Valley, Telefomin area, West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, 5°06'S 141°42'E, 2,600 m"


AM M 14702
DW 8393


Other specimens:

Three additional specimens are known (Leary et. al. 2008), and must have been collected sometime between 1986 (when Flannery deposited the last of the then three known specimens) and 1998, when bushfires ravaged the entire area (Leary et. al. 2008)






Original scientific description:

Flannery, Tim F. (1987). A new species of Phalanger (Phalangeridae: Marsupialia) from montane western Papua New Guinea. Records of the Australian Museum 39(4): 183-193.


Other references:

Flannery, T. 2005. The weather makers: our changing climate and what it means for life on earth. Text Publishing Company.

Freudenthal, M. and Martín-Suárez, E. (2013). Estimating body mass of fossil rodents. Scripta Geologica 145: 1-130. [1.1-2 kg estimate]

Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Salas, L. and Dickman, C. 2008. Phalanger matanim. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 02 July 2011.

Silva, M. B. and Downing, J. A. (1995). CRC handbook of mammalian body masses. CRC Press: 1-359.


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