The long-tailed chinchilla is a small rodent with thick, soft fur that lives in the barren, arid areas of the Andes mountains. By the 1940s, fur hunters nearly caused it's extinction. Since then, wild populations are slowly recovering due to legal protection. However, the short-tailed chinchilla is critically endangered and remains on the verge of extinction.
|Common Name||Chilean, Coastal, Common Chinchilla, and Lesser Chinchilla|
|Range||mountains of northern Chile.|
The Long-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera), also known as the Chilean, coastal, common chinchilla, or lesser chinchilla, is one of rodent species from the genus Chinchilla, the other species being the Short-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla chinchilla). Wild populations of the chinchilla occur in Aucó, near Illapel, IV Región, Chile (31°38’S, 71°06’W), in Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas and in La Higuera, about 100 km (62 mi) north of Coquimbo (29°33’S, 71°04’W) Chilean chinchillas were reported from Talca (35°30’S), Chile, reaching north to Peru and eastward from Chilean coastal hills throughout low mountains. By the mid-19th century, Chilean chinchillas were not found south of the Choapa River.
No fossils are known.