Peru has a rich diversity of mammals, and these are especially concentrated in the Peruvian section of the Andean Mountain ranges. Some of these species are endemic to Peru while others are also found in other areas of South America. Some mammals of Peru primarily rodents have been classified as endangered due mainly to habitat loss through deforestation and clearing of bushes which are homes to these animals. Other threats include practices involving the irresponsible hunting of these mammals.
Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkey
The yellow-tailed woolly monkey is endemic to Peru and has been classified as critically endangered due to losses of its habitats, the low reproductive rates among the species, and the game hunting of it by humans. The monkey is arboreal, and diurnal occupying high elevations of the Andes ranges where the terrain is rough. The monkey lives in large social groups of about 23 individuals. The fur of the monkey is long and dense an adaptation that enables them to survive in the cold montane forest habitats. The yellow-tailed mountain has a head and body length of around 51 to 54 centimeters with a long tail of about 63 centimeters. The tail has a yellow pelage and is very powerful for supporting the body during feeding and other activities. The monkey mainly feeds on leaves, fruits, insects, and some invertebrates. The monkey tends to be aggressive when threatened. Their reproduction rates are very low with long intervals in between.
The short-tailed chinchilla is a rodent found in the cold regions of the Peruvian Andes Mountains that predominately feeds on the montane vegetation growing therein. The chinchilla’s body is about 28 to 49 centimeters long weighs around 38 to 50 ounces. The forelegs are short while the hind legs are long and powerfully built for climbing and jumping. Their necks are thick and shoulders are broad, unlike the long-tailed chinchillas. The chinchillas burrow underground or under rocks for shelter. Chinchillas live in colonies. The litters produced per birth are usually one or two. The chinchilla has been categorized as critically endangered due to hunting for its fine and dense fur which fetches high prices. Laws to regulate their hunting have been enforced as well as reproduction in captive environments.
Aceramara Gracile Mouse Opossum
The Aceramara Gracile Mouse Opossum is an arboreal marsupial that feeds on fruits, insects, and invertebrates. The head and body length of the mouse is about 7 to 13.5 centimeters with the tail at about 9 to 15.5 centimeters, while the average weight is about 23 to 34 grams. The fur is reddish to grayish brown in color on the upper side and cream on the underside with a dark brown or black eye ring. Unlike other opossums, the mouse has no pouch. The habitats of the mouse are in tropical cloud forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes. The species is ranked as critically endangered due to habitat loss through deforestation. No conservation measures have been put up as little is still known about their distribution.
Anderson’s mouse is a nocturnal rodent species endemic to Southern Peru. The mouse builds nests from leaves and twigs in trees, on the ground, in holes, hollow logs and under rocks. The Anderson’s mouse has fine velvety reddish-brown fur with prominent black eye rings. The tail is strong and scaly for grasping. Their life expectancy in the wild is one year. The major threat to their population is habitat loss making them critically endangered.
Other Endangered Mammals of Peru
Other endangered Peruvian mammal species include the Bare-Tailed Armored Tree Rat, the Mountain Tapir, the Peruvian Fish-Eating Rat, the Ucayali Spring Mouse, the Incan Little Mastiff Bat, the Andean Mountain Cat, the Marine Otter, and the Giant Otter.