Ladak pika

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Ladak pika
Ladakh Pika 2007.jpg
A Ladak pika at 5000m near Tang Lang La
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Ochotonidae
Genus: Ochotona
Species: O. ladacensis
Binomial name
Ochotona ladacensis
(Günther, 1875)
Ladak Pika area.png
Ladak pika range

The Ladak pika (Ochotona ladacensis) is a species of mammal in the family Ochotonidae. It is found in China, India, and Pakistan. Prior to identification as a separate species, specimens were thought to be of the plateau pika. Named for the Ladakh region, they are commonly found in valleys of the mountain ranges spanning from Pakistan through India to China at a height of between 4,300–5,450 metres (14,110–17,880 ft) and are herbivores.

Taxonomy[edit]

Specimens of the Ladak pika were originally identified as plateau pika,[1] due to their color and the similarities in the narrow interorbital region on the skull of each species. However differences were found between the two including the smaller auditory bulla found in the Ladak pika and a differently arched skull shape.[2] There are no subspecies of the Ladak pika.[1] Local names in the Ladakhi language include zabra, karin and phisekarin.[3]

Description[edit]

The fur of the Ladak pika is a light brown/grey with a yellow/white underside.[2] The length of the body of an adult specimen measures between 7–9 inches (18–23 cm).[3] The outside areas of the ears are a color reminiscent of rust. The skull has a high arch.[2] They reproduce during late June and early July.[2]

Habitat[edit]

The Ladak pika is found in the mountain ranges of northern India, northeastern Pakistan, and western China including the provinces of Qinghai, Xizang and Xinjiang, as well as across the Tibetan Plateau.[1][2] They inhabit valleys at elevations of between 4,300–5,450 metres (14,110–17,880 ft),[2] and dig burrows.[1] They are herbivorous and are thought to eat roots throughout the winter such as those of the primula family.[1][2] The Ladek pika lives in territorial family groups.[4] They have been recorded as being commonly found during surveys in these regions.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (2008). Ochotona ladacensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Chapman, Joseph A.; Flux, John E.C. (1990). Rabbits, Hares and Pikas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9782831700199. 
  3. ^ a b Sterndale, Robert Armitidge (1929). Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon. Calcutta, India: Simla, Thacker, Spink. 
  4. ^ Smith, Andrew T.; Xie, Yie (2008). A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 283. ISBN 9780691099842.