Animal:
Chinchilla
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Why This Animal?
I chose a chinchilla because they are cool animals. My interest in chinchillas started when one of my friends got one and I thought they were wild animals. My friend got me one for my birthday I then I later got another one. I researched them a lot as pets but never as wild animals, and I wanted to find more out about their natural habitat in wild. I also think it is cool how we can take a wild animal and make them such cute and low menace animals.
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSklsqGIcw6IcztH9PiP2GmN7coW5kbdbAJI79ARRNTTirJMuhzZQMy Chinchillas Marlo and Tinsley

Food Web:


Location Research:
WOW!! I just arrived in the mountains of Northern Paru and may I say it is gorgeous here. I can’t here all the swaks of the Golden-Back mountain finch and to my right is a herd of llamas grazing on the lush grass. It is kind of chilly here my instructor says it will say between 30 and 50 degrees during the day and drop down below freezing at night. It is beautiful up here you can see for miles of moutons and hill side. You can see far and wide May types of cats are out on the prowl. Mountain goats, llamas, and reindeer grazing on the grass.
As the day draws to an end and sun starts to go down a whole new page comes alive. There are so many different animals out now then there was before. You can see some of the birds nesting in trees, some the animals gathering there cubs and heading into the den. Then I saw it, what I was here to research the wild chinchilla. The chinchilla comes out of her whole with her two babies as they go out to hunt. She slowly comes out of her whole to make sure there is no danger then at a blink of an eye she is jumping like a kangaroo across the ground right to a fully bloomed bush and picks off the leaves.
I have seen so much in the short time I have been here I can’t wait to start more research and encounters with these animals as my days here move on. I will soon be becoming close to the chinchilla.
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Journal:
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Day 1:
I am just getting ready to board my plane here in Iowa I have two stops before I reach Peru. I am extremely excided to reach my destination I can’t wait to start studding the chinchilla. I packed all warm clothes and I am ready for the cold weather. I am doing some last minute studding and briefing on my Spanish so I can talk to the locals to point me in my direction to where I might be able to find a chinchilla in the wild. Well here I go, nervous but excided all at the same time, Hopefully i can get some sleep so i can be up at night watching the chinchilla.

Day 2:
Well here I am. Just got to my tent in Peru, and I’m heading out soon as the sun starts to set to see if I can spot a chinchilla. As we are walking out of the corner of my eye I see something jump, A CHINCHILLA! We watch as it jumps away using its back feet and springing into the air like a kangaroo. We stop moving and sit on a rock when we do this the chinchilla stops and looks at us. His whiskers moving and ears perked making sure we are not coming closer. When he realizes we aren’t coming for it he pulls off a little bud off a bush with his front paws, sits up on his back end and begins to eat. The chinchilla has a long coat to keep it warm in the cool of the night, up in the mountains. As we watch it is still using its front paws to pick off more buds and hold their food. Without there paws they wouldn’t be able to pick there food. They use there back feet to jump without them they wouldn’t be very fast and would be more prominent to being pray. As we watch the chinchilla it moves back to its den and sits in front for awhile before it slowly moves down to the little stream and starts to drink water. When it is done drinking it rolls in the dust and shakes. Chinchillas use this to clean there fur because if they get to wet there fine hair will fall out. It is almost dark and getting hard to see we are making our way back to camp, after we set up cameras by the chinchillas den to keep track of it at night when the chinchilla is more active.

Day 3:
As I sit here on my rock and I watch the Chinchilla I’m finding that the groups work together to make dens and gather food. They all help each other with things. All the dens are close together and all have different chambers. The group of chinchillas mainly stay in there group and don’t interact with other groups. There is a one that keeps going back and forth to plants near by and getting food, it is putting them in a den I saw them digging earlier, and it must just be food storage. The group works together to get more food and make sure all the families have dens. The group is born into the family and the females will go out and find another male to breed with during breeding season, that’s the only time they interact with other groups of chinchillas.

Day 4:
Well tonight is very cold and there is not many chinchillas out and about. They are all huddled close in there dens. This is the first time I am able to actually step around the dens and not get hissed or squeaked at. The Mom will be at the back of the den and the babies will huddle close to her then the dad will come in and block the opining to keep the wind, and predators out of the den. You will occasionally see a family come out and take some food from the storage den and eat then quickly go back in.

Wildlife Monitoring Technique:

I chose to use radioactive collars to track the chinchilla. It shows when the chinchilla is most active and its location throughout the day. It is hard to track the chinchilla and observant because the only time you can really find them or see them is when sun it coming up and sun is going down, unless you have night vision and choose to be up all night. Because they are nocturnal it is hard to see them. The collars will show us were they are and what they are doing at times though the day. Also shows what other animals they might incounter or come across that they might be pray to. Games cams may also come in handy to get pictures of them in action.
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The Picture is of the map of the tracking of the chinchilla.
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The chat of the points on the map.

Fellow Resercher Profile:
Maria Copa Alvaro studied Biology as an undergraduate in Bolivia and Biological Science as a postgraduate student in Mexico. While in Mexico, she studied the impacts of Hurricane Emily and Hurricane Wilma on populations of endangered pygmy raccoons.
Well studding chinchillas Maria found a lot. She used a lot of monitoring techniques, such as; game cameras, banding, and radio callers. She was just fascinated she did a lot of studding in different parts of Bolivia and Peru, and the different types of chinchillas. She study there habits for awhile but then grew more into other things. There habits, habitats, food, and she began to think she knew everything but everyday something knew would happen and surprise her. She was so fascinated she would almost always come in later than expected because she didn’t want to stop watching them.

Maria and I are a lot alike. We started young with animals and then grew from their. She started with pet chinchillas and then got more interested in them. She also lived in a rural small town and grew up with horses. We have a lot more in common then you would think. She wanted to be a vet like me. She changed her mind though to a wildlife researcher, I don’t think I will change my mind though.

Limiting factors:
The chinchilla has many limiting factors. If it does not have dust or places to roll its hair will get greasy and fall out. Also if they didn’t have things to shelter under their hair would fall out due to getting wet. The chinchilla has a very fragile stomach and if it does not have certain kinds of plants or flower buds its stomach will not handle it and they would die. Without certain water sources or ways to get it safely they will not drink and die. The chinchilla has very high standards and can be hard to find in a lot of areas.



Bibliography