Barren and arid foothills of the Andes Mountains at elevations between 9 - 15 thousand feet
Maily seeds and grass; sometimes insects and bird eggs
1 - 2 lbs.
12 - 21 in.
About 3 months
Avg. 2 - 3 kits
The long-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) is also known as the common chinchilla or lesser chinchilla.
Their extremely dense fur has about 60 hairs per follicle. (Compared to one hair per follicle for humans.)
Chinchillas are social rodents that live in colonies of up to 100 animals.
Chinchillas maintain their soft, thick fur by bathing in volcanic ash.
Their dense fur keeps them well insulated from the cold and can repel water.
Habitat loss and illegal hunting has pushed the current population to a level that is too low to be self-sustaining in the wild.
It is illegal to trap or hunt chinchillas throughout their range, but enforcement is difficult in such remote areas.
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301