Chinchilla

Endangered Species

Madison Henley

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Endangered Chinchilla May Outman

Chinchilla brevicaudata boliviana

Mammalia


Originally from The Andes Mountains in Chile

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Chinchillas have short silver hair with black tips and short, rounded ears. They have fluffy, bushy tails and large black eyes. Chinchillas remain small in size, usually a little over a pound in weight and around a foot in length. They resemble bunnies but are closely related to guinea pigs and porcupines.


Fun Fact: Chinchillas fur used to be a yellow gray color, but because of selective breeding it is usually a silver, gray, or black color now.

Breeding

Chinchillas can start breeding when they are eight months old, twice a year, giving birth to up to six babies at a time


Because of the Chinchillas fur popularity, they often undergo selective breeding to produce the traits humans desire


Fun Fact: Female Chinchillas stay monogamous to one male their whole life while males have many partners. Also, the females are more dominant and aggressive than the males.

Chinchilla Fur and Endangerment

Chinchillas have very thick fur that is desirable for many humans, often using their fur for clothing. Because of this fur trade, Chinchillas have been endangered for many years, with the restriction on selling and trading Chinchillas beginning in 1975.

They are now and have been for many years on the critically endangered species list, and some are thought to have already died out in South America.

Even though Chinchilla populations are declining, their one hope would be humans using them as pets, which has become fairly popular in America.

Other than the trade and hunting restrictions on Chinchillas, there are protected habitats for them, but the population is still declining

Habitat Loss

Since Chinchillas came from the Andes Mountains, they tolerate cold temperatures very well. That is also why they have such thick fur, and why humans want it so badly. The do not have a specific home, but prefer to burrow in the ground wherever they please. Thier colonies can have up to 100 chinchillas in it.They do not have to hibernate or migrate


Fun Fact: In the colony, Chinchillas "nominate" one member to be a look out for predators, (ex. Hawks, snakes, foxes, mountain lions, and owls) while the others eat and play


Fun Fact: Chinchillas are nocturnal, therefore they sleep during the day and stay up all night


Habitat Range: Historically they are native to the Andes Mountains but are now all over Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Some have been brought as pets to America recently.


Even though habitat loss was not one of the main reasons why Chinchillas originally started to decline, it does affect them now as humans are cutting down and disrupting land everywhere.

Solutions

One of the best solutions that would benefit humans and Chinchillas would to get them to become even more popular as pets. If humans would care for them, breed them, and sell them, then the Chinchilla population could be thriving and everyone would be happy.

Works Cited