Significance to humans

Both species of chinchilla were commercially harvested in Chile, with over 500,000 pelts exported between 1900 and 1909. The plains viscachas compete with domestic livestock, and this species has also been intensely harvested, with over 370,000 skins exported over a three year period in the 1970s. Mountain viscachas also are prized for their meat and fur.

1. Long-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera); 2. Mountain viscacha (Lagidium peruanum); 3. Plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus). (Illustration by Patricia Ferrer)

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