Ochotona thibetana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona thibetana (Milne-Edwards, 1871)
Common Name(s):
English Moupin Pika
Taxonomic Notes: Subgenus Ochotona. There are six recognized subspecies: Ochotona thibetana nangqenica (south Xizang), O. t. osgoodi (northeast Myanmar), O. t. sacraria (west Sichuan), O. t. sikimaria (Sikkim), O. t. xunhuaensis (east Qinghai), and O. t. thibetana (includes hodgsoni, zappeyi). The systematic history of this species has represented significant confusion. The pika forms lama, aliensis, and lhasaensis have previously been included in thibetana, although these now are included in O. nubrica. Similarly, O. forresti has been included in O. thibetana in several treatments. Going the other way, osgoodi has been listed as a subspecies of O. pusilla. New studies show that sikimaria, widely separated geographically from other thibetana, may represent an independent species. Similarly, the forms sacraria and xunhuaensis appear significantly distinct genetically from other thibetana and also may represent independent species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-10
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Liu, S.
Reviewer(s): Battistoni, A.
Contributor(s): Boyer, A.F.
Ochotona thibetana is listed as Least Concern. It is a widespread species that is not known to be experiencing a severe decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ochotona thibetana occurs in the mountains of the eastern Tibetan Plateau in China (southern Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu,), India (Sikkim), and northern Myanmar.

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 occurrence:
China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan); India (Sikkim); Myanmar
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):4100
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).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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 1,800 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).

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).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ochotona thibetana occurs in Wanglang, Wolong, Zhumulangmafeng, Changshanerhai, Nujiang, Wawushan, and Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserves (Liu et al. 2005). This species could benefit from research on the effects of habitat loss throughout its range. In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Jiang et al. 2016).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Liu, S. 2016. Ochotona thibetana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41271A45185018. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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