Chinchilla chinchilla 

Scope: Global

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Chinchillidae

Scientific Name: Chinchilla chinchilla
Species Authority: (Lichtenstein, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Short-tailed Chinchilla
French Chinchilla À Queue Courte
Spanish Chinchilla De Cola Corta
Chinchilla brevicauda Waterhouse, 1848
Chinchilla brevicaudata Waterhouse, 1848
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously referred to as Chinchilla brevicaudata, but is now recognized as Chinchilla chinchilla (Woods and Kilpatrick 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): D'elia, G. & Ojeda, R.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic past population decline, estimated to be more than 90% over the last three generations (15 years) and is suspected to be reversible. This species is suspected to be recovering in some areas as the successful domestic cultivation of the species is helping to reduce illegal hunting and trapping in the wild. However, past declines alone warrant that this species be maintained as Critically Endangered until there is evidence of a true recovery trend and further information becomes available about existing populations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The historic distribution of this species extended throughout the Andes of Bolivia, Peru, northwest Argentina, and Chile. The species has since been eradicated from many areas of its former range; it is now extinct in Peru and Bolivia, where specimens have not been recorded for over 50 years (Tarifa 1996, Anderson 1997). However, recent reports (from interviews with local people and observations of park guides) from the border region of Bolivia (Potosi Department) and Chile (Antofagasta) seem to indicate extant populations (J. Jimenez and N. Bernal pers. comm.). The species is not likely to persist elsewhere in its historic range in Bolivia. There may be records of released pets in parts of its range. The distribution of this species in Bolivia needs review.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):3000
Upper elevation limit (metres):6000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The range of this species has been severely reduced to a portion of its former didtribution. In Bolivia, the species was thought to be extinct. However, there may be populations persisting on the border with Chile, in an isolated region with low human population. The populations experience natural fluctuations in relation to harsh winters.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species lives in burrows or rocky crevices usually in arid areas, and are strictly nocturnal. It is a colonial species and feeds on vegetation.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species was hunted extensively in the past, but it is now bred easily in captivity for the fur and pet trade so hunting in the wild is no longer a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are reports of the species existence in Bolivia from the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve for Andean Fauna (N. Bernal pers. comm.). This species has been included in CITES Appendix I since 1975 as Chinchilla brevicaudata and since 1977 as Chinchilla chinchilla.

Citation: D'elia, G. & Ojeda, R. 2008. Chinchilla chinchilla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T4651A11060749. . Downloaded on 25 August 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided