chinchilla rat in machu picchu

A species that for many years was considered extinct was found in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Cusco). This is the Machu Picchu tree chinchilla rat (Cuscomys Oblativus), whose last sighting was recorded in 2009.

The important finding was made as part of a study of the biodiversity in the protected natural area, through the installation of camera traps between April 2018 and April 2019, in three sectors of montane forests within the Sanctuary: Winaywayna, Intipata and Kantupata between 2,650 and 3,430 meters above sea level.

The study was developed by researchers Roberto Quispe, specialist from the National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State (SERNANP); José Ochoa and Norma Jara from the National University of San Antonio Abad del Cusco, and Daniel Cossios from Biosfera Consultores Ambientales.

After 11 years, the second record is made in images of this rodent that is part of the three endemic mammal species of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

According to the researchers, the first evidence of the existence of this species was made in 1916 based on skeletal remains found inside Inca vessels in excavations carried out in the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Since that date, no sighting of this species was obtained until 2009 when the first and only photographic record of this species of rodent was made during a monitoring carried out by SERNANP park rangers and local residents on the Inca trail route between the sectors. from Puyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna at 2,850 meters above sea level.

After 11 years, the second record is made in images of this rodent that is part of the three endemic mammal species of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu; that is to say, they are unique to this area as no record of them is found outside this protected natural area.