Ochotona roylei 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona roylei
Species Authority: (Ogilby, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Royle's Pika
Ochotona himalayana Feng, 1973
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: There are two recognized subspecies: Ochotona roylei nepalensis and O. r. roylei (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

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. & Boyer, A.F.
Reviewer(s): Johnston, C.H. and Smith, A.T. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Ochotona roylei is a widespread species that does not appear to be experiencing a decline in distribution or abundance (Smith et al. 1990, Chakraborty et al. 2005).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ochotona roylei occurs in the Himalayan massif through Pakistan, Kashmir, northwestern India, Nepal, and Tibet (Smith et al. 1990). Records exist from western China, but these should probably be attributed to O. macrotis chinensis (Smith et al. 1990).

O. roylei occurs from 2,400-4,300 m in elevation (Chakraborty et al. 2005).
Countries occurrence:
China (Tibet [or Xizang]); India (Jammu-Kashmir); Nepal; Pakistan
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2400
Upper elevation limit (metres):4300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Though there are no current population assessments of Ochotona roylei, it is considered widespread without serious threats to jeopardize its status (Chakraborty et al. 2005). In the Ladakh region of India, it was characterized as uncommon, but without any known threats (Mallon 1991).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ochotona roylei is a primarily crepuscular, talus-dwelling species (Smith et al. 1990). They live in groups composed of parents and their offspring, with low densities (12.5 per ha) characteristic of talus-dwelling pikas (Smith et al. 1990). Females of the species may produce one or two litters annually with an average of 3 offspring per litter (Smith et al. 1990). The total length of this species is 15.5-20.4 cm (Smith and Xie 2008).

O. roylei exhibits a symbiotic relationship with Pnoepyge albiventer, the Scaly Breasted Wren Babbler in Nepal. This species of bird will co-occupy the pika's haypile, forage for food in close proximity to the pika, and sun itself with the pika. Potential reasons for the relationship are: 1.) lack of nesting sites for the babbler, 2.) similar life styles, 3.) the additional heat provided by the bird to the haypile is beneficial to the pika, 4.) utilization of different food sources, and 5.) additional protection against predation (Khana 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Ochotona roylei is affected by small-scale logging and livestock grazing, but these are not considered serious threats to the distribution or abundance of the species (Smith et al. 1990; Chakraborty et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ochotona roylei occurs in Zhumulangmafeng Nature Reserve (CSIS 2008). In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. 2008. Ochotona roylei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41268A10428536. . Downloaded on 25 October 2016.
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