Ochotona macrotis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona macrotis (Günther, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Large-eared Pika
Taxonomic Notes: This species is within subgenus Conothoa. Currently there are three recognized subspecies: O. m. chinensis (Sichuan, China), O. m. macrotis (includes baltina, sacana (Central Asian distribution) and O. m. wollastoni (Himalayan region). Due to their outward morphological and ecological similarities, earlier treatments have considered O. macrotis to be a subspecies of O. roylei. This arrangement became further entrenched when molecular data from Genbank included mis-identified material: namely O. macrotis chinensis was labelled as O. roylei chinensis – thus clearly analyses using this material claimed that the two forms were very closely related – simply because the material only represented macrotis. Recent molecular and morphological analyses clarify that these two forms can be clearly distinguished and that they are not sister species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-09
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Lissovsky, A.
Reviewer(s): Battistoni, A.
Contributor(s): Johnston, C.
Listed as Least Concern; this is a widespread species. Although there are no data regarding the current population status, it is speculated that Ochotona macrotis is common.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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, and in the mountainous regions of several provinces of China (Xizang, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Gansu) (Smith et al. 1990, 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). Ochotona macrotis will occupy higher elevations when sympatric with O. roylei (Smith et al. 1990).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Bhutan; China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Xinjiang, Yunnan); India; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Nepal; Pakistan; Tajikistan
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):2300
Upper elevation limit (metres):6400
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).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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). Ochotona 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). Ochotona macrotis primarily is a diurnal species (Gurung and Singh 1996). 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, although most animals first breed as yearlings (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).

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, Zhumulangmafeng, Changtang, and Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserves. Research to determine the current population status is needed. In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Jiang et al. 2016).

Classifications [top]

0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Bernstein, A. D. and Klevezal, G. A. 1965. Age determination of Ochotona rutila and Ochotona macrotis. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 44: 787-789.

Blanford, W.T. 1888. The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor and Francis, London, UK.

China Species Information Service. 2008. Ochotona macrotis. Available at:; (Accessed: June 20).

Feng, Z.J., Cai, G.Q. and Zheng, C.L. 1986. The Mammals of Xizang. The Comprehensive Scientific Expedition to the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Science Press, Academia Sinica, Beijing, China.

Gromov, I. M. and Erbajeva, M. A. 1995. The Mammals of Russia and Adjacent Territories. Russian Academy of Sciences Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Gurung, K.K. and Singh, R. 1996. Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

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. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Jiang, Z., Jiang, J., Wang, Y., Zhang, E., Zhang, Y., Li, L., Xie, F., Cai, B., Cao, L., Zheng, G., Dong, L., Zhang, Z., Ding, P., Luo, Z., Ding, C., Ma, Z., Tang, S., Cao, W., Li, C., Hu, H., Ma, Y., Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Zhou, K., Liu, S., Chen, Y., Li, J., Feng, Z., Wang, Y., Wang, B., Li, C., Song, X., Cai, L., Zang, C., Zeng, Y., Meng, Z., Fang, H. and Ping, X. 2016. Red List of China's Vertebrates (in Chinese and English). Biodiversity Science 24: 500-552.

Kawamichi, T. 1971. Daily activities and social pattern of two Himalayan Pikas, Ochotona macrotis and O. roylei, Observed at Mt. Everest. Journal of the Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University. Series VI Zoology 17: 587-609.

Lissovsky, A.A. 2014. Taxonomic revision of pikas Ochotona (Lagomorpha, Mammalia) at the species level. Mammalia 78(2): 199–216.

Mallon, D. 1991. Lagomorphs in Ladakh. Manchester, UK.

Ognev, S. I. 1966. Mammals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.

Ognev, S. I. 1966. Mammals of the U.S.S.R. and Adjacent Countries. Mammals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.

Sludskii, A.A., Bernstein, A.D., Shubin, I.G., Fadeev, V.A., Orlov, G.I., Bekenov, A. et al. 1980. Mammals of Kazakhstan. Volume 2: Lagomorpha. Nauka Kazakh SSR, Alma-Ata, USSR.

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., Zheng, C.-L. and Erbajeva, M.A. 1990. The pikas. In: J.A. Chapman and J.E.C. Flux, (eds). Rabbits, hares and pikas: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. pp 14-60.

Sokolov, V. E., Yu Ivanitskaya, E., Gruzdev, V. V. and Heptner, V. G. 1994. Mammals of Russia and Adjoining Regions. Lagomorphs. Nauka Publishers, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Lissovsky, A. 2016. Ochotona macrotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41265A45183918. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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