Ili Pika

Ili Pika
Ili Pika
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Ochotonidae
Genus: Ochotona
Species: O. iliensis
Binomial name
Ochotona iliensis
Li & Ma, 1986
Ili Pika range

The Ili Pika (Ochotona iliensis) is a species of mammal in the Ochotonidae family, endemic to northwest China. The total length of O. iliensis is 20.3-20.4 cm. [2]



It is endemic to the Tian Shan mountains of northwest chinese province Xinjiang. A recent census indicated that Ochotona iliensis may be extirpated from Jilimalale and Hutubi South Mountains.[3]


Ochotona iliensis inhabits talus areas on high cliff faces. This species constructs haypiles and is a generalized herbivore. [3]


Almost nothing is known about the ecology or behavior of this species.[4]

O. iliensis exhibits low population densities. It is mostly a diurnal species, but may exhibit nocturnal activity. Only one to two litters are produced each year, but litter size for this species is unknown.[3]


Its population has been reduced by 55% within 10 years. Population declines have been observed for several locations inhabited by this species. A recent census indicated that Ochotona iliensis may be extirpated from Jilimalale and Hutubi South Mountains. Populations have declined in the regions of Jipuk, Tianger Apex, and Telimani Daban. Only one examined site, the Bayingou region, showed signs of previously observed abundance. An estimated 2,000 mature individuals existed in the early 1990's. The exact causes for recently observed population declines are not known, but it is speculated that an increase in grazing pressure and global atmospheric pollution resulting in climate change are negatively impacting Ochotona iliensis populations. Low population densities and reproductive rates coupled with the relatively limited ability to disperse impede the ability of the species to recover from declines. There are no known conservation measures in place for Ochotona iliensis. [3]

External Links


  1. ^ Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (2008). Ochotona iliensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 10 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of endangered.
  2. ^ Smith, A.T., & Xie, Y. (2008). The Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 
  3. ^ a b c d Li, W. & Smith, A.T. (2005). "Dramatic decline of the threatened Ili pika Ochotona iliensis (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) in Xinjiang, China.". Oryx 39: 30–34. 
  4. ^ Smith, A.T., & Xie, Y. (1990). "Chapter 3: The Pikas". In J. A. Chapman and J. C. Flux. Rabbits, Hares and Pikas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland. 

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