Ochotona macrotis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ochotona macrotis
Species Authority: (Günther, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Large-eared Pika
Taxonomic Notes: There are currently five recognized subspecies: Ochotona macrotis auritus, O. m. chinensis, O. m. macrotis, O. m. sacana, and O. m. wollastoni (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). One molecular study concluded that O. macrotis is a sister species of O. roylei (Yu et al. 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H.
Reviewer(s): Boyer, A.F. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
This is a widespread species. Although there are no data regarding the current population status, it is speculated that Ochotona macrotis is common (Gurung and Singh 1996).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The geographic distribution of Ochotona macrotis includes southeastern Kazakhstan, eastern Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, northeastern Pakistan and Afghanistan, northern India, Nepal, and Bhutan (Smith et al. 1990), and in the mountainous regions of several provinces of China (Xizang, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Gansu) (Smith and Xie 2008). This species occupies elevations ranging from 2,300 m (Gurung and Singh 1996) to 6,400 m (Smith and Xie 2008). O. macrotis will occupy higher elevations when sympatric with O. roylei (Smith et al. 1990).
Afghanistan; Bhutan; China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Xinjiang, Yunnan); India; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Nepal; Pakistan; Tajikistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no data regarding the current population status of Ochotona macrotis. It is thought to be common (Gurung and Singh 1996). Population sizes typically do not fluctuate over time, but total density can range from six to eighteen individuals at different localities (Smith et al. 1990).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Ochotona macrotis is a rock-dwelling species of pika (Smith et al. 1990). It occurs in high alpine deserts and spruce forest expanses within its geographic distribution (Smith et al. 1990). O. macrotis is characterized as a generalized herbivore (Smith and Xie 2008). It typically feeds on grasses, leaves, twigs, mosses, and lichens (Gurung and Singh 1996). Not all populations of this species construct haypiles for the winter (Ognev 1966). O. macrotis is primarily a diurnal species (Gurung and Singh 1996). The total length of this species is 15.0-20.4 cm (Smith and Xie 2008). Longevity of this species of pika is three years of age (Bernstein and Klevezal 1965). Litter size and number of litters in a year is variable according to location, but O. macrotis usually has two litters per year, with two to three young per litter (Smith et al. 1990). Yearlings of a population are able to breed (Smith et al. 1990). The reproductive periodicity of O. macrotis is April to mid-August (Sokolov et al. 1994). Gestation is approximately 30 days (Sokolov et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats for Ochotona macrotis (Smith et al. 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In India, this species occurs in Hemis National Park and Kanji Wildlife Sanctuary and may be present in Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (Mallon 1991). In China, this species occurs in Tuomuerfeng and Zhumulangmafeng Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008). Research to determine the current population status is needed. In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Ochotona macrotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 25 November 2014.
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