Ochotona dauurica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona dauurica (Pallas, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Daurian Pika
Taxonomic Source(s): Lissovsky, A.A. 2014. Taxonomic revision of pikas Ochotona (Lagomorpha, Mammalia) at the species level. Mammalia 78(2): 199–216.
Taxonomic Notes: This species is within subgenus Ochotona. Currently there are three recognized subspecies: O. d. huangensis (annectens, bedfordi, and shaanxienis are synonyms); O. d. dauurica (altina and mursavi are synonyms), and O. d. latibullata. Previously, the subspecies O. d. annectens has been included by some in O. cansus. Formerly, O. dauurica was included in O. curzoniae (and thus melanostoma), but these two ecologically similar species are clearly separated based on morphological and molecular data.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-08
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Cook, J.
Reviewer(s): Battistoni, A.
Contributor(s): Johnston, C.
This is a widespread species that is present in protected areas and is unlikely to be declining at a rate significant enough for listing under a threat category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The geographic distribution includes the majority of Mongolia, southern regions of the Russian Federation, and several provinces of China (Gansu, Hebei, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, and Shanxi) (Smith et al. 1990), and Henan (Smith and Xie 2008). Essentially it occupies open xeric habitat including the Loess Plateau, Gobi Desert, etc.
Countries occurrence:
China (Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi); Mongolia; Russian Federation (Altay, Buryatiya, Krasnoyarsk, Tuva)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):400
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Ochotona dauurica populations appear to undergo sizeable yearly fluctuations (Ognev 1966). Several isolated populations around the northern and southern edges of the Gobi Desert are considered vulnerable (Smith et al. 1990).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ochotona dauurica is a burrow-dwelling species that is characterized as a generalized herbivore (Smith and Xie 2008). This species constructs haypile food stores (Smith and Xie 2008). It occupies low-lying desert grassland habitat where flooding can occur (Smith et al. 1999, Smith and Xie 2008). The ecology of O. dauurica seems to be quite similar to that of O. curzoniae (Smith et al. 1990, Smith and Xie 2008). Social behavior for O. curzoniae and O. dauurica differs when they exist sympatrically, than when they do not (Zhang et al. 2001). Under sympatric circumstances, O. curzoniae exhibits "mowing" behaviour, while O. dauurica exhibits "hoarding" behaviour (Zhang et al. 2001). Ochotona dauurica is capable of producing several litters per year with litter size varying from one to 11 young (Smith et al. 1990). Young born early in the season may become reproductively active the summer of their birth (Smith et al. 1990). Reproductive periodicity varies according to location. In the Trans-Baikal region, reproductive periodicity of O. dauurica begins around April and extends through August. Periodicity extends from April to September across much of Mongolia. Longevity of O. dauurica is approximately two years.

This species is considered a keystone species for the geographic range in which it occurs (Smith and Xie 2008). One treatment found that O. dauurica and livestock do not compete for forage as each prefers different vegetation. The burrowing activities of this species also contributes to the overall health of the habitat it occupies (Smith et al. 1990).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been the target of wide-scale pest control in China (Smith et al. 1990, Smith and Xie 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is recommended that persecution as a pest species be mitigated and that awareness of its positive, ecological impact be implemented. In Mongolia, approximately 8% of the range of this species occurs in protected areas (Clark et al. 2006) and it has been recorded in Hustai National Park (Todgerel 2002). In China, it occurs in Xinglongshan, Baijitan, and Liupanshan Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008). It has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (LC) in Mongolia (Clark et al. 2006). In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Jiang et al. 2016).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Cook, J. 2016. Ochotona dauurica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41259A45182905. . Downloaded on 20 January 2018.
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