Ochotona rutila 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Lagomorpha Ochotonidae

Scientific Name: Ochotona rutila
Species Authority: (Severtzov, 1873)
Common Name(s):
English Turkestan Red Pika
Taxonomic Notes: Subgenus Conothoa. There are no recognized subspecies of Ochotona rutila (Smith et al. 1990). The forms erythrotis, vulpina, gloveri, and brookei have each been previously included in O. rutila. Modern morphological and molecular studies have clarified that each of these forms is either independent or subsumed in an independent Ochotona species (Lissovsky 2014).

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): Boyer, A.F.
Though Ochotona rutila has a sporadic distribution, it is widespread, there are a few populations where the species is considered common, and there are no known threats to the distribution or abundance of the species (Smith et al. 1990). The species is listed Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ochotona rutila occurs in isolated ranges in the Pamirs of Tajikistan, and Tien Shan of south-east Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, southeast Kazakhstan (Smith et al. 1990), and eastern Xinjiang region of China (Smith and Xie 2008).

O. rutila does not usually occur above 3,700 m in elevation (Smith et al. 1990).
Countries occurrence:
China (Xinjiang); Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Despite the discontinuous range of Ochotona rutila, and its rarity in museum collections, there are currently no known threats to abundance or distribution to this species (Smith et al. 1990). O. rutila is considered common in a few localities, including the Great Alma-Ata Lake region in Kazakhstan, and the Iskander-Kul Lake region of Tajikistan (Smith et al. 1990).

Population density of O. rutila is low, with 12-20 individuals per ha, in families composed of an adult pair and their offspring, with population levels remaining constant over time (Smith et al. 1990).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ochotona rutila prefers to find shelter in large stones within scree and talus habitat (Smith et al. 1990). O. rutila feeds on turf in an area within two meters of the talus habitat, rather than foraging in open meadows away from the talus (Smith et al. 1990). O. rutila is a diurnal species that exhibits more activity at dusk and dawn (Smith et al. 1990).

Female of the species O. rutila typically bear two litters annually averaging 4.2 young, which is a relatively low fecundity rate (Smith et al. 1990).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats to Ochotona rutila have been identified. However, the naturally low population density, low fecundity, and sporadic distribution of the species (Smith et al. 1990) could make O. rutila susceptible to pressures in the future. This species has been trapped for fur (felt), although this practice has ceased. Some populations may be controlled if it is perceived that they girdle fruit trees.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are currently in practice for Ochotona rutila, as it is not considered a species under current threat. It is considered NT in its limited range in China (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
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Bernstein, A.D. 1963. Data on the ecology of red pika (Ochotona rutila Sev.) in Zailisk Alatau (Tian Shan). Way of life and feeding. Byull. Mosk. Obshch. Ispyat. Prirody, Odt. Biol. 68: 24-36.

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

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.

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

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., 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.

Sokolov, V.E., Ivanitskaya, E.Y., Gruzdev, V.V., Heptner, V.G., Hoffmann, R.S. and Smith, A.T. 2009. Lagomorphs: mammals of Russia and adjacent regions. English translation . Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, DC.

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Lissovsky, A. 2016. Ochotona rutila. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41270A45184897. . Downloaded on 19 January 2017.
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