Ochotona alpina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona alpina (Pallas, 1773)
Common Name(s):
English Alpine Pika, Altai Pika
Taxonomic Notes: This species is within subgenus Pika. Theer are five recognised subspecies: O. a. alpina (which includes ater; eastern and central Altai Mountains); O. a. changaica (Mongolia); O. a. nanula (S Tuva); O. a. nitida (includes sushkini; eastern Altai and western Sayan Mountains); and O. a. sayanica (eastern Sayan Mountains). Some forms previously included in O. alpina are now considered to be included in other species of Ochotona: svatoshi and cinereofusca are in O. hyperborea; and scorodumovi is a junior synonym of O. mantchurica. In earlier treatments, O. argentata was considered a form of O. alpina, but it is more closely related to O. pallasii.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-06
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Cook, J.
Reviewer(s): Battistoni, A.
Contributor(s): Johnston, C.
This is a widespread species with no currently known population decline. The species is listed Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Octotona alpina occurs in the mountain ranges in western Mongolia, northern Xinjiang, eastern Kazakhstan, and southern Russia. O. alpina ranges in elevation from 400-2,500 m in the Altai Mountains (Ognev 1966), in China, O. alpina occurs at elevations greater than 2,000 m (Smith and Xie 2008).
Countries occurrence:
China (Heilongjiang, Xinjiang); Kazakhstan; Mongolia; Russian Federation (Altay, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tuva)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are few data regarding the current status of Ochotona alpina. Some isolated populations may be subject to stochastic variation in population size.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ochotona alpina occupies rocky regions and talus piles (Smith et al. 1990). Because this is a rock-dwelling species it occupies naturally fragmented habitat, as talus piles are generally separated by terrain that pikas rarely traverse. It prefers talus sites where vegetation is present (Smith et al. 1990). This species is a generalized herbivore that collects foodstuffs to create haypiles (Smith and Xie 2008). This pika is considered an important factor in the health of the ecosystem, as it is prey for sables in the region (Khlebnikova 1978). It has been noted that pika haypiles have been utilized by several species during winter months (Smith et al. 1990). Siberian wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) will eat from the haypiles during heavy snowfall (Smith et al. 1990). It has been reported that vegetation diversity and composition are largely influenced by the presence of this species (Khlebnikova 1978). It is primarily a diurnal species, but vocalizations can be heard at night (Ognev 1966). Reported mortality rates differ according to habitat type; 41% in alpine zones and 53% in forested areas (Smith et al. 1990). Longevity of O. alpina can be as high as six years, but is usually only three years in the northern extents of its range (Sokolov et al. 1994). O. alpina produces two litters per year, with an average of three young per litter (Smith and Xie 2008). Gestation is approximately 30 days and newborns are 5.8-6.0 cm in length (Sokolov et al. 1994). Total length is 15.2-25.1 cm.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Mongolia, approximately 12% of the species' distribution occurs in protected areas (Clark et al. 2006). This species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern in Mongolia (Clark et al. 2006). In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Cook, J. 2016. Ochotona alpina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41255A45182115. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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