Phalanger matanim Flannery, 1987:184
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Last record: 1997 (Leary et al., 2016).
IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)
A Telefomin cuscus was encountered, though not collected, in 1997 (Leary et. al., 2016). 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
Three additional specimens are known (Leary et. al. 2016), 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. 2016)
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.
Flannery, Tim F. (1995). The Mammals of New Guinea, 2nd edition. Reed Books, Sydney, Australia.
Flannery, Tim F. (2005). The weather makers: our changing climate and what it means for life on earth. Text Publishing Company.
Flannery, Tim F. and Seri, L. (1990). The mammals of southern West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea: their distribution, abundance, human use and zoogeography. Records of the Australian Museum 42(2): 173-208.
Freudenthal, M. and Martín-Suárez, E. (2013). Estimating body mass of fossil rodents. Scripta Geologica 145: 1-130. [1.1-2 kg estimate]
Holmes, Branden. (2021). What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts. Self published. [Available from Amazon]
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. (http://www.iucnredlist.org). Downloaded on 02 July 2011.
Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. 2016. Phalanger matanim. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16851A21950802. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T16851A21950802.en. Accessed on 11 December 2021.
Silva, M. B. and Downing, J. A. (1995). CRC handbook of mammalian body masses. CRC Press: 1-359.