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Ochotona thibetana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA OCHOTONIDAE

Scientific Name: Ochotona thibetana
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1871)
Common Name(s):
English Moupin Pika
Taxonomic Notes: There are five recognized subspecies: Ochotona thibetana nangqenica, O. t. osgoodi, O. t. sacraria, O. t. sikimaria, and O. t. thibetana (includes hodgsoni, zappeyi) (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)
Justification:
Ochotona thibetana is a widespread species that is not known to be experiencing a severe decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ochotona thibetana occurs in the mountains of the eastern Tibetan Plateau and along the Himalayan massif in China (southern Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, and southern Tibet), India (Sikkim), northern Myanmar (Burma), and Bhutan (Smith and Xie 2008).

O. thibetana usually occurs between 2,400 and 4,100 m in elevation (Smith et al. 1990), but has been recorded as low as 1,800 m (Allen 1938).
Countries:
Native:
Bhutan; China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan); India (Sikkim); Myanmar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Ochotona thibetana is considered fairly common throughout most of its range (Smith et al. 1990). However, the subspecies O. t. sikimaria in Sikkim, India may be endangered due to the destruction of the rhododendron vegetation that it prefers, resulting in less suitable habitat for this subspecies (Smith et al. 1990).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Ochotona thibetana is a social, burrowing pika that occurs in bamboo and rhododendron forest in the low elevations of its range and in subalpine forest in the high elevations (Smith et al. 1990; Smith and Xie 2008). Between elevations of 2,400 m to 4,100 m, it can inhabit rocky areas under the forest canopy (Smith et al. 1990).

O. thibetana is a generalized herbivore that creates haypiles to store vegetation (Smith and Xie 2008). The reproductive season for O. thibetana extends from at least April to July, and generally has a litter size of 1-5 (Smith et al. 1990). The total length of this species is between 14.0 cm and 18.0 cm (Smith and Xie 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Throughout southern China, Ochotona thibetana may be threatened by deforestation, but this has not been thoroughly researched (Smith et al. 1990). This species is also targeted as a pest in southern Gansu (Chen et al. 1982; Giraudoux et al. 1998).

The subspecies O. t. sikimaria of Sikkim, India has been reported to be threatened by habitat loss due to agriculture, settlement, deforestation, and road construction, where the rhododendron vegetation has been almost completely eradicated (Smith et al. 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ochotona thibetana occurs in Wanglang, Wolong, Zhumulangmafeng, Changshanerhai, Nujiang, Wawushan (CSIS 2008), and Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserves (Liu et al. 2005). This species could benefit from research on the effects of habitat loss throughout its range, and regional action may be necessary to halt the ongoing habitat destruction that affects O. t. sikimaria in Sikkim, India. 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 thibetana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 August 2014.
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