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Dendrolagus scottae individuals have a strong odor, which can last for up to a week on items that an animal comes in contact with (e.g. a handler's hands). Another interesting tidbit about these animals is how they received the common name 'Scott's Tree Kangaroo'. The story is that there was a trust fund named after a man called Winifred Scott. After his death in 1985, the Permanent Trustee Company, a co-trustee of the Scott Trust, donated the trust income to an Australian Museum research program. Participants in this program discovered the tenkile. In honor of Winifred, this species of tree kangaroo was given the name Scott's tree kangaroo.

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Behavior

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Little is known about how tenkiles communicate, however it is likely that they use the full suite of available senses to communicate and perceive their environment, including vision, chemical cues, touch, and hearing.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Conservation Status

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Scott's tree kangaroos, which were first discovered in 1989, are thought to be the rarest tree kangaroo species. Wild populations are rapidly declining, and is now thought to be less than 200 individuals. This is about a 75% reduction since the species was first discovered. The main reason for these falling numbers is hunting by the increasing human population and habitat loss. To deal with this unfortunate population decline, the Tenkile Conservation Alliance was formed in 1999. This conservation group is working to maintain the failing habitat of this rare species. If action is not taken soon, the tenkile population is likely to be extinct within just a few years.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Benefits

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There are no known adverse affects of tenkile tree kangaroos on humans.

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Benefits

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Humans use tenkile tree kangaroos as a source of food and fur and sometimes keep them as pets.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food ; body parts are source of valuable material

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Associations

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Tenkile tree kangaroos impact plant communities in the ecosystems in which they live through their predation on plants. Little is known of other impacts they may have.

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Trophic Strategy

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Tenkiles, or Scott's tree kangaroos, are mainly herbivorous. Their primary diet consists of tree leaves, ferns, and soft vines. They may forage in the trees or on the ground.

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Distribution

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Tenkile tree kangaroos are found only Papua New Guinea, and only in Sandaun Province along the Torricelli Mountains in the rainforests on the southern side of Mount Sumoro. Today, the total area occupied by these tree kangaroos is only about 50 square kilometers.

Biogeographic Regions: australian

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Habitat

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The rainforest canopy on the southern side of Mount Somoro is now the only home to tenkile tree kangaroos. This habitat is at elevations of 900 to 1500 meters.

Range elevation: 900 to 1500 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Life Expectancy

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There is little information on longevity in D. scottae, however other tree kangaroos are known to live 20 years or more in captivity.

Range lifespan
Status: captivity:
20 (high) years.

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Morphology

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The body mass of Dendrolagus scottae averages 10 kg. Tree kangaroos have bodies that are built for climbing up and down trees and for moving along tree branches. The tail is similar to that of other macropods, but the tenkiles are more adapted for maneuvering through the upper levels of the rainforest. Good balance and agility are needed to be able to jump or move from tree to tree without falling to the forest floor. These qualities are enhanced by the tenkiles' floppy tails. Large foreclaws enable these animals to grasp tree branches and climb through the canopy with ease. Their fur is a dark brown color and, like many other marsupials, they have a pouch used in the development of offspring.

Average mass: 10 kg.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Associations

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The main predator of Scott's tree kangaroos is humans. Tribal hunters in the areas of the Torricelli Mountains are hunting these animals resulting in rapidly decreasing populations. They are used for meat and skins. The young are also being killed for their skins, or they are being captured and kept as pets. Little is known about any anti-predator adaptations in this species.

Known Predators:

  • humans (Homo sapiens)
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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Reproduction

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There is very little information on Dendrolagus scottae or other Dendrolagus species. In captivity, males of other Dendrolagus species will fight in the presence of females.

Research on Scott's tree kangaroos suggests that these animals breed throughout most of the year. Females will give birth to young at 12 month intervals. Like most macropods, Scott's tree kangaroos give birth to one offspring at a time.

In other tree kangaroo species, gestation lasts about 32 days, young emerge from the pouch at about 305 days, and cease to crawl into the pouch to suckle at 408 days.

Breeding interval: Tree kangaroos give birth once yearly, on average.

Breeding season: Breeding occurs throughout most of the year.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

Like other kangaroos, female Scott's tree kangaroos carry their young in a pouch until the joey is large enough and old enough to emerge. This time period is usually ten to twelve months. The young are nursed from birth until the young are more than a year old.

Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care

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Cosens, L. 2004. "Dendrolagus scottae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dendrolagus_scottae.html
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Lindsay Cosens, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Tenkile

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The tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), also known as Scott's tree-kangaroo, is a species of tree-kangaroo in the family Macropodidae. It is endemic to a very small area of the Torricelli Mountains of Papua New Guinea.[3] Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests. It is threatened by habitat loss and by hunting.[2] The tenkile is listed as endangered due to hunting and logging activities in Papua New Guinea. The tenkile is hunted for its meat, and is the main protein source for the residents of Papua New Guinea. The population of Papua New Guinea has increased in recent years due to improvements in healthcare; therefore increasing need in tenkile meat which means that more tenkiles are being hunted. Additionally, tenkiles are poached for their fur and are captured and sold as a part of the illegal pet trade.[4] Domesticated dogs also hunt tenkiles.[5] Deforestation in Papua New Guinea affects all tree-Kangaroos, however industrial logging that occurs in the Torricelli Mountain Range decreases the species' already restricted habitat. The Torricelli Mountain Range faces additional deforestation due to the timber industry, and the production of coffee, rice and wheat.[4]

Description

The tenkile is a close relative of Doria's tree-kangaroo. It weighs 9 to 11 kilograms (20 to 24 lb), with males being larger than females. It is predominantly black with some chocolate-brown on limbs and long tail, and whirls of hair on the shoulder. It has a powerful and persistent odour.[3][6] Tenkiles have a noticeably long snout, and these kangaroos are able to hop and walk bipedally. They are also able to raise their arms above their head, all of which normal kangaroos cannot. It is believed that this species possibly breeds year round, with a young born each year. The young become independent after two years. The tenkile is believed to be the most intelligent of all tree kangaroo species.[7]

Habitat

Tenkiles have a very limited habitat. They are found at about 900-1,700 meters above sea level in the Torricelli Mountain Range. Their total Habitat does not exceed 125 square kilometres.[8] The tenkile inhabits mid-mountain rain-forests predominated by Podocarpus, Libocedrus, Araucaria and Rapanea. It feeds on epiphytic ferns, green leafy material and vines including Scaevola and Tetracera.[6] However, serious studies have not been conducted on the species. Currently, research is being compiled from the knowledge of the local people and a collection of the animals specific diet is being prepared.[8]

Diet

Unlike other tree kangaroos, they are mainly herbivores; their known diet comprises tree leaves, ferns, and soft vines. Tenkiles have been known to look for their food either in the treetops or on the ground.[5]

Reproduction

The exact nature of reproduction is still being studied, however it is currently believed that they reproduce year round.[9] This would imply that there is no breeding season and females are free to mate as they please. Reproduction is thought to occur slowly with a single new offspring thought to be born once a year.[10] A young tree kangaroo is referred to as a joey, as is the case with all kangaroos. The gestation period for this extract species is currently unknown, but other tree kangaroos have a period of approximately 30 days; therefore, a similar period is expected for the tenkile.[11] Parental care is carried out by the females though the exact involvement of the males is unknown. Groups of a male, female, and young have been observed but so have groups of only female and young.[12] Newborns are carried in the mother pouch until they are old enough to leave, which can last up to a year. After being born the young will spend two years with its mother before becoming independent.[9]

The species' slow reproduction rate may increase its extinction risk. It was thought that the tenkile population could have been as low as 100 individuals in 2001. The low number of individuals meant a lower number of individuals to choose from when mating. The slow reproduction rate would also mean that it simply takes longer to replace lost individuals or increase the population.

Social interaction

Most accounts of tenkile social interaction in the wild has been recorded by locals in Papua New Guinea. When the tenkile was first discovered, most locals recount seeing the tenkile travelling in packs of four, comprising a male, female and offspring, but now most sightings of tenkiles in the wild are individual.[4] This is most likely the result of the decline in population over recent years. Not much is known about their options for communications, but it is believed that they use all available senses to communicate with each other. These senses include: vision, hearing, chemical cues and touch.[4] Tenkiles have not been known to be hostile to humans and usually stay away from human activity while they are up in the trees.

Status

Tenkiles have declined greatly over the past 50 years, including an 80% decline in ten years. It is currently restricted to three remote areas along the summit of the Torricelli Range, the eastern Bewani Range, the Menawa Range, and the Torricelli Mountains in the Fatima area of Papua New Guinea where it is found at altitudes between 900 and 1,700 metres (3,000 and 5,600 ft) above sea level.[3] The animal is hunted by indigenous people for food and the sub-population in the Torricelli Mountains is believed to number fewer than 250 individuals. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the animal's status as being "critically endangered" and a moratorium on hunting has been arranged with the local community in the Swelpini area.[2]

Conservation

The main group concerned with the preservation of the tenkile in Papua New Guinea is the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA), which is a group established as a part of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2001.[13] The group’s main aim is to protect the biodiversity in Papua New Guinea and make the Torricelli Mountain Range, in northwestern Papua New Guinea, a protected area. The TCA works with communities living in and around the tenkile’s habitat through community outreach which includes school visits to teach the younger children about the species. TCA have been able to get 50 villages to join the hunting moratorium that helps in the conservation efforts of not only the Tenkile but also the Weimang/ Golden Tree Kangaroo.[13] The culture of the residents of the Papua New Guinea towards the tenkile has changed, as TCA has been able to substitute the consumption of rabbits, fish and imported meat with the consumption of the tenkile. As stated above, the tenkile faces extinction due to hunting, mainly hunting for its meat. This change has led to a decrease in the hunting of the tenkile for over 10 years.[13] Another conservation program implemented in Papua New Guinea in 2000 is the WWF Forest Program (PNG or FoNG), which aims to increase the biodiversity through community outreach programs.[14] The program also plans on contacting the government and other non-governmental organisations to support various conservation efforts and create conservation models that can be implemented across Papua New Guinea.

References

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c Leary, T.; Wright, D.; Hamilton, S.; Helgen, K.; Singadan, R.; Aplin, K.; Dickman, C.; Salas, L.; Flannery, T.; Martin, R.; Seri, L. (2019). "Dendrolagus scottae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T6435A21956375. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T6435A21956375.en. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Flannery, Tim: Mammals of New Guinea, Chatswood, 1995
  4. ^ a b c d Cosens, Lindsay. "Dendrolagus Scottae (tenkile Tree Kangaroo)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b Unknown. "Tree Kangaroo WWF". WWF. WWF-World Wildlife Fund for Nature. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Tenkile: tree kangaroo". Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Archived from the original on 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  7. ^ Hance, Jeremy (3 May 2011). "Forgotten Species: The Endearing Tenkile Tree Kangaroo". Mongabay. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Tenkile Conservation Alliance. "Tenkile Tree Kangaroo". Tenkile. Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Tree Kangaroos". www.tenkile.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  10. ^ Flannery, Tim (1995). Mammals of New Guinea. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801431492.
  11. ^ Nowak, Ronald M. (1991). Walker's Mammals of the World (Fifth ed.). Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  12. ^ "Animal Info - Tenkile". www.animalinfo.org. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  13. ^ a b c Tenkile Conservation Alliance. "About TCA". About Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  14. ^ Unknown. "Forest Programme PNG (FoNG)". WWF. WWF- World Wildlife Fund for Nature. Retrieved 26 October 2015.

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Tenkile: Brief Summary

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The tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), also known as Scott's tree-kangaroo, is a species of tree-kangaroo in the family Macropodidae. It is endemic to a very small area of the Torricelli Mountains of Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests. It is threatened by habitat loss and by hunting. The tenkile is listed as endangered due to hunting and logging activities in Papua New Guinea. The tenkile is hunted for its meat, and is the main protein source for the residents of Papua New Guinea. The population of Papua New Guinea has increased in recent years due to improvements in healthcare; therefore increasing need in tenkile meat which means that more tenkiles are being hunted. Additionally, tenkiles are poached for their fur and are captured and sold as a part of the illegal pet trade. Domesticated dogs also hunt tenkiles. Deforestation in Papua New Guinea affects all tree-Kangaroos, however industrial logging that occurs in the Torricelli Mountain Range decreases the species' already restricted habitat. The Torricelli Mountain Range faces additional deforestation due to the timber industry, and the production of coffee, rice and wheat.

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