Due to the ever-increasing demand for fur, Chinchillas are now on the endangered species list. The wild population is declining continually as its habitat is threatened by human land alterations. Without any efforts into its conservation and investment of adequate funding, the population could become extinct in the near future.
These grey squirrel-like creatures are best known for their plush fur. Chinchillas have more than 50 hairs from a single follicle. Since their fur is widely used all over the world, a number of organizations have exploited it for their benefit. This is leading to their endangerment.
Chinchilla fur is one of the most expensive and rarest in the world.
Decline in population
The Chinchilla population started to decline because of excessive hunting and trapping. Humans were hunting this animal for fur faster than the animals could repopulate resulting in the endangerment of the species. The possible disappearance of this creature has alarmed a number of governments, including Chile, Argentina and Peru. Some now have export restrictions on Chinchilla furs and there are laws against trapping the animal.
There are several management techniques in place to achieve successful conservation of Chinchillas. Conservation programs attempt to ensure the species is regenerated. There has been an effort to create Chinchilla colonies in order for the species to survive. There has been an active creation of habitats which assists in the conservation of this species by decreasing barriers and competition and increasing number of resources.
Governments and relevant authorities are focusing on preserving and expanding protected lands, to facilitate conservation efforts. Special ecological areas are protected from human disturbances so endangered animals can survive.
Save the Wild Chinchillas is a non-profit organization that has been assisting the conservation of wild Chinchillas. Their primary objective is to ensure these endangered animals do not reach the level of extinction. In order to meet their aims, they have laid their plans on three foundations:
- Educate people of all ages regarding demerits of excessive hunting and trapping. They encouraged people to consider them as friendly pets, and buy wheels for Chinchillas to ensure their in-home health and mental well-being.
- Collect funds to buy more land for their conservation and create more reserves. This would assist in the better development of colonies.
- Promotion of studies relating to the endangerment of species.
The organization’s members are constantly working on creating habitat by restoring vegetation, visiting schools and providing them with relevant information about preservation. A number of scientific studies were carried out to ensure the Chinchilla population is not wiped out completely.
There are a number of organizations working on Chinchilla conservation but as active human beings, more people must take responsibility for ensuring sustainable wildlife. Every individual must work in their capacity to not only achieve successful conservation of Chinchillas but all species that are under threat.