Chinchilla

Chinchilla chinchilla

Characteristics

Chinchilla are small furry animals that have rounded ears, big bushy tails, and have thick, soft fur. They can grow to be 10 to 14 inches, their tails can be 5 to 6 inches, they weigh 1 to 1.5 pounds, and can live for about 20 years. Chinchillas vary from blueish grey, black, beige, and white. They are related to porcupines and guinea pigs. They are also very social animals, and they come depressed if they are alone. Also, to protect themselves they release their fur so that an attacker cannot eat them. http://www.livescience.com/28131-chinchillas.html http://chinchillacare.org/ http://www.chinchillas.com/resource/

Habitat

A chinchilla's natural habitat is in the Andes Mountains, which are located along the western side of South America, in the Alpine biome. They go in herds of 14-100 chinchillas for social interactoin and for protection. Chinchillas live in burrows or on rock surafaces where they can hide from predators. During the day they sleep in crevices and underground, and at night they go out to find food because it is much safer then. Also wild chinchillas choose one of them to be a look-out and make sure there are no predators coming. http://chinchillachronicles.com/chinchilla_habitat.html

Examples of the Chinchilla chinchilla

Only 1000 chinchillas left in the rocky mountains

Protection

Chinchillas are on the endangered species list as critically endangered, because they are prized for their fur and sometimes meat. There has been laws protecting them in Chille since 1929, though it has been not very well or easily enforced. There are different groups helping such as the Save the Wild Chinchillas Organisation- which are building awareness of the two different types of chinchillas, promoting research, and helping conserve the long-haired chinchilla, there is also the National Forestry Cooperation of Chille that has found two new chinchilla colonies in Nevado Tres Cruces and Santa Rosa, and with this knowledge they will develope long-term conservation programs in Chille. The population of wild chinchillas in decreasing, so hopefully there will be help for them sometime soon. http://mrsgsbiologyclass.edublogs.org/2012/09/20/chinchilla-population-growth-in-the-rocky-mountains/http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=57

Help save the chinchillas now!