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According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) edits the Red List of Chilean Vertebrates.  This document defines the conservation state of vertebrate animals region by region, according to the categories (named in the previous edition) described by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).  Currently there are 245 species with conservation problems – that is, 31% are classified in IUCN categories.   Next, we will show you some of the most threatened species, as it would be impossible to mention all of them.


Along the extensive Chilean coast there are more than one thousand fish species, and for this reason fishing is one of the country’s most important economic activities.  However, many species have been placed on the Red List in recent times.
We can point out in the Endangered category the Graytail Skate (Bathyraja griseocauda), Puye (Galaxias globiceps), Peladilla (Aplochiton taeniatus), Tollo de agua dulce (Diplomystes chilensis), Bagre (Nematogenys inermes), Black trout (Percichthys melanops) and the Carmelita de Concepción (Percilia irwini), among others. 

In Vulnerable state we find:  the Humpback Smooth-Hound (Mustelus whitneyi), Spotted Houndshark (Triakis maculata), White-dotted Skate (Bathyraja albomaculata), Yellownose Skate (Dipturus chilensis), Pouched Lamprey (Geotria australis), Roughskin Skate (Dipturus trachydermus), Pocha del sur (Cheirodon australe) and the Flathead Mollet (Mugil cephalus).


Due to their low population (compared with other countries) and their high degree of endemism (they are found only in our territory), amphibians are the most vulnerable vertebrate group in Chile.  Among the factors that aggravate this situation are: habitat reduction, the consequences of climate change, introduced species and infectious agents (virus, bacteria and fungi).

Chilean amphibians are quite diverse in size, but they are all of the Anura order.  That is, they are characterized by their lack of a tail and for their short, wide bodies.  They are grouped into four families: Bufonidae, Leptodactylidae, Rhinodermatidae and Pipidae. 
The first family is only represented by the Bufo genus, of which three species are endemic.  Some species in Vulnerable status are: Bufo atacamensis, Bufo chilensis, Bufo spinulosus and Bufo rubropunctatus.

The frogs of the Leptodactylidae family are the most abundant in the country.  The main genus are: 

Alsodes: all species belonging to this genus are endemic.  They are found under logs or rocks in streams that run down the slopes of Chile’s central and southern regions.  Among Endangered species are Alsodes tumultuosus, Alsodes nodosus and Alsodes montanus. Alsodes vanzolinii is in Vulnerable status.
Telmatobufo: the frogs of this genus live in mountain streams, where they deposit their eggs.  Among threatened species are the Telmatobufo australis, the Telmatobufo bullocki and the Telmatobufo venustus.
Batrachyla: Chile contains four frog species, Batrachyla antartandica, Batrachyla leptopus, Batrachyla nibaldoi and Batrachyla taeniata.  This last amphibian is the only one in Vulnerable status.
Rhinodermatidae: represented by the Rhinoderma genus, of which there are only two representatives in Chile: the Darwin’s Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) which is in Vulnerable status, and the Chile Darwin’s Frog (Rhinoderma rufum), which is Endangered.


In Chile, there are only three kinds of reptiles: lizards, snakes and turtles.  As in the case of amphibians, these animals have a high percentage of endemism and serious conservation problems.

Lizards and snakes are grouped into four families: Iguanidae (wall lizards), Teiidae (whiptails), Gekkonidae (geckos) and Colubridae (snakes).  The genera of the family Iguanidae that are found in Chile are: Ceiolaemus, Centrura, Ctenoblepharis, Diplolaemus, Liolaemus, Phrynosaura, Prisidactylus, Tropidurus and Velosaura.

Among these, the genus Liolaemus is the most threatened, as it contains one Endangered species, (Liolaemus gravenhorsti) and seven in Vulnerable status (Liolaemus chilensis, Liolaemus nitidus, Liolaemus lemniscatus, Liolaemus fuscus, Liolaemus leopardinus, Liolaemus zapallarensis and Liolaemus kuhlmanni).
The Teiidae family is represented by only one species, the Callopistes, which is distributed from the Atacama region to the Maule region.  There are 3 recognized subspecies of Callopistes: Callopistes palluma palluma (in Vulnerable status), Callopistes atacamensis and Callopistes pallum manni.

The Gekkonidae family is represented by the Garthia and Phyllodactylus genera.  They inhabit the northern and central regions of the country (from the Region of Arica and Parinacota to the Region of Valparaiso).  There are a pair of species in each genus that qualify for Data Deficient status (they could be placed in another category, but there can be no certainty due to the lack of information): geckos (Phyllodactylus heterurus and Phyllodactylus inaequalis), the Garthia penai and the Garthia dorbignyi.

Among the six snake species of the Colubridae family that inhabit our country, four are in Vulnerable status: Alsophis elegans, Philodryas tachymenoides, the Long-tailed Snake (Philodryas chamissonis) and the Culebra de cola corta (Tachymenis chilensis).


In Chile, there are more than 450 bird species represented in 56 families.  However, only 325 nest in Chilean territory, as the rest are migratory birds.  This means that they nest in other latitudes and arrive as visitors only during warm seasons.

In terms of distribution, the majority of species are found throughout all the territory.  However, the area with most diversity is the country’s central region. 

We can find several bird species on the Red List of Chilean Vertebrates that are included in the most worrisome conservation categories:

Endangered Species:  Suri (Pterocnemi pennata tarapacensis) White-faced Ibis (Plagadis Chihi), Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum), Lesser Painted Snipe (Nycticryphes semicollaris), Peruvian Tern (Sterna lorata), Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus), Juan Fernandez Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis) and Masafuera Rayadito (Aphrastura masafuerae).
Vulnerable species: Puna Tinamou (Tinamotis pentlandii), Darwin’s Rhea (Pterocnemia pennata), Juan Fernandez Petrel (Pterodroma externa), De Filippi’s Petrel (Pterodroma defilippiana), Kermadec Petrel (Pterodroma neglecta), Stejneger’s Petrel (Pterodroma longirostris), Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus), Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis), Peruvian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides garnotii), Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaeton rubricauda), Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii), Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), Puna Ibis (Plegadis ridgwayi), Black-faced Ibis (Theristicus melanosis), Chilean Flamingo (Theristicus melanosis), Andean Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus), James’s Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi), Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus), Andean Goose (Chloephaga melanoptera), Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus).


Of the nearly 4,500 mammals that exist in the world, only 141 species live in Chile, and of these, more than 65% are terrestrial. 
The scarcity of the Chilean mammal population is due to the geographic barriers (the ocean, desert, and South Pole) that isolate our territory and which have made immigration difficult for some specimens from neighboring zones.  For this reason the number of species is lower than that of other South American countries.

Also, conservation problems are found in more than 65% of mammal species today.  This is true of the three marsupials which live in Chile, the Elegant Fat-tailed Mouse Opossum (Thylamis elegans), the Monito del Monte (Dromiciops gliroides) and the Long-nosed Shrew Opossum (Rhyncholestes raphanurus).

The first two are considered Rare Mammal species (species whose population is small and at some degree of risk) and the third marsupial is Endangered.

Of the bats (the only flying mammals, Chiroptera order) that exist in the world, only eleven species live in our country.  The most notable is the Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus), as it is the only hematophagus mammal (meaning that it drinks blood, especially from cattle, sea lions, and certain birds).  Currently, this species is considered Rare from a conservation point of view.  Among hard-shelled mammals of the Xenartha order, there exist only three species: the Quinquincho (Euphractus nationi), which is Endangered, the Peludo Patagonico (Euphractus villosus), considered Rare, and the Dwarf Armadillo (Euphractus pichiy), considered Vulnerable.

Rodent species are the most abundant in our territory.  There are more than 60 which can be found in almost all of the territory and are characterized by their small size.  Among those with conservation problems are the Common Yellow-toothed Cavy (Galea musteloides), Southern Mountain Cavy (Microcavia australis), Montane Guinea Pig (Cavia tschudii), Long-tailed Chinchilla, (Chinchilla manigera), Short-tailed Chinchilla (Chinchilla brevicaudata), Vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), Cururo (Spalacopus cyanus maulino), Long-clawed Mole Mouse (Geoxus valdivianus), Magellanic Long-clawed Mouse (Chelemys megalonyx delfín) and the Large Long-clawed Mouse (Chelemys megalonyx), among others.

More than 30 species of the Cetaceous order are known.  These are characterized by a thick, smooth and hairless skin, except for some species that have hairiness on their heads.  Today, few Chilean species have conservation problems.  Among these are the Peale’s Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis) and the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis). 

Among carnivorous mammals that exist in the country today, 15 are native.  Of those that are terrestrial and have conservation problems we find the Southern River Otter (Lontra provocax), Chilote Fox (Pseudalopex fulvipes), Marine Otter (Lontra felina), Puma or Cougar (Puma concolor), Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus),  Patagonian Fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus), South American Grey Fox (Pseudalopex griseus), and the Colocolo (Lynchailurus colocolo), among others.  In the case of the eight species of aquatic carnivorous mammals that existing in Chile, only two are in worrisome categories, and these are: the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal (Arctocephalus philippii) and the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina).

The animals of the Artiodactyla Order, which are those that have an even number of toes (two or four), are represented by five species in our country.  There are three in the deer family, the Southern Pudu (Pudu pudu), the Huemul (Hippocamelus antisensis) and the North Andean Deer (Hippocamelus antisensis).  Two are members of the camelid family, the Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) and the Guanaco (Lama guanicoe).  It’s worth mentioning that the Huemul is Endangered and the others are considered Vulnerable.




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