Ochotona iliensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona iliensis Li & Ma, 1986
Common Name(s):
English Ili Pika
Taxonomic Notes: Ochotona iliensis is known only from type locality. There are no recognized subspecies (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2abc; C2a(i) 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)
Censuses conducted during 2002 and 2003 found no pikas present in 57% of locations known to have been inhabited by Ochotona iliensis approximately 20 years ago (Li and Smith 2005). Additionally, there has been a decline in the area of occupancy within the suitable extent of occurrence for this species (Li and Smith 2005).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ochotona iliensis is endemic to China, known only from the Borohoro Shan in Xinjiang, China (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). This species has a highly fragmented distribution, within a restricted geographic range (Li and Smith 2005). It is found at elevations between 2,800-4,100 m (Li and Smith 2005). Census work conducted in 2005 estimated that over the past decade the area of occupancy has declined to approximately 7% (previously 17%) of the extent of occurrence for this species (Li and Smith 2005). O. iliensis is no longer found at 57% of the previously inhabited sites (Li and Smith 2005).
Countries occurrence:
China (Xinjiang)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2800
Upper elevation limit (metres):4100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population declines have been observed for several locations inhabited by this species (Li and Smith 2005). A recent census indicated that Ochotona iliensis may be extirpated from Jilimalale and Hutubi South Mountains (Li and Smith 2005). Populations have declined in the regions of Jipuk, Tianger Apex, and Telimani Daban (Li and Smith 2005). Only one examined site, the Bayingou region, showed signs of previously observed abundance (Li and Smith 2005). An estimated 2,000 mature individuals existed in the early 1990's (Li and Smith 2005).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ochotona iliensis inhabits "talus areas on high cliff faces" (Li and Smith 2005). O. iliensis exhibits low population densities (Li and Smith 2005). Typically a diurnal species, but may exhibit nocturnal activity (Li and Smith 2005). This species constructs haypiles and is characterized as a generalized herbivore (Li and Smith 2005). Only one to two litters are produced each year, but litter size for this species is unknown (Li and Smith 2005). The total length of O. iliensis is 20.3-20.4 cm (Smith and Xie 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The exact causes for recently observed population declines are not known, but it is speculated that an increase in grazing pressure and global atmospheric pollution resulting in climate change are negatively impacting Ochotona iliensis populations (Li and Smith 2005). Low population densities and reproductive rates coupled with the relatively limited ability to disperse impede the ability of the species to recover from declines (Li and Smith 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for Ochotona iliensis. Research is needed in the areas of ecology, reproduction, and behavior (Smith et al. 1990). Furthermore, data is needed to assess the distribution and population status (Li and Smith 2005). A recovery plan should be implemented to prevent extinction (Li and Smith 2005). This species has been regional listed, in China, as Endangered under criteria A2abc; C2a(i) (Wang and Xie 2004).

Classifications [top]

0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

Bibliography [top]

Hoffmann, R.S. and Smith, A.T. 2005. Order Lagomorpha. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 185-211. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Li, W. and Smith, A. T. 2005. Dramatic decline of the threatened Ili pika Ochotona iliensis (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) in Xinjiang, China. Oryx 39(1): 30-34.

Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. 2008. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Smith, A. T., Formozov, N. A., Hoffmann, R. S., Changlin, Z. and Erbajeva, M. A. 1990. The Pikas. In: J. A. Chapman and J. C. Flux (eds), Rabbits, Hares and Pikas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, pp. 14-60. The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland.

Wang, S. and Xie, Y. 2004. China Species Red List. Vol. 1 Red List. Higher Education Press, Beijing, China.

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Ochotona iliensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T15050A4490393. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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