The pacific degu has not been seen by scientists following its description in 1994.
It is a small, rat-like rodent endemic to the Isla Mocha, a small coastal island in the Valdivian rainforest zone of central Chile. It has retained primitive characteristics as a result of its isolate form other species of degu which occur in mainland South America. There are four species within the genus Octodon, which derives from the wear pattern of their teeth, which resembles a figure 8. The main threat to the Pacific degu is likely to be from habitat loss and degradation. Local people rely heavily on vegetation for their subsistence and as a result have almost totally deforested the lowlands. Grasslands now dominate these areas. The remaining Valdivian forest is now restricted to the highest elevations and is subject to logging. It is not known what impact these threats are having on any surviving populations of this species.
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Octodontidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 15.5-19.5cm
- Weight: <300g
The Pacific degu occur on Isla Mocha, a small coastal island in the Valdivian rainforest zone of central Chile.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabit dense subtropical or tropical mist lowland forest which is biogeographically related to mainland Valadivian forest. Little of their ecology is known, though they are similar to their close relative the common degu in being active during the day.