The small creature joins the list of species that have been found roaming freely in Machu Picchu during Peru’s state of emergency. The Cuscomys oblativus, or Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat, is a native species to the area. It was spotted for the first time after many years by the Peruvian Service for Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP).
The images of the creature were captured thanks to cameras installed in 2018 and 2019 as part of a biodiversity study in the area. The cameras are found in the forests of three sectors of the sanctuary, at an elevation of 2,650 and 3,430 m: Winaywayna, Intipata and Kantupata.
The Cuscomys oblativus was first identified in 1916 based on remains found inside Inca vessels excavated in the Machu Picchu citadel. It was believed to be extinct until found in 2009 by park ranger and specialist Roberto Quispe. A scientific study two years later confirmed the finding.
No image of the species was recorded until now. To lear more, read here.
Cover photo: Andina
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