Largeeared pika

Ochotona macrotis

TAXONOMY

Ochotona macrotis (Günther, 1875), Tibet, China. Four subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm). A generalized ochotonid, but with large thin ears. Brown coat with gray undercoat.

DISTRIBUTION

High mountains of central Asia; has been recorded as high as 20,100 ft (6,130 m).

HABITAT

A typical rock-dwelling pika; it lives in high mountains.

BEHAVIOR

Adults live in pairs.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

A generalized herbivore, some do not cache vegetation in haypiles, a characteristic of most pika species; it is felt that the lack of snow in parts of their range allowing for year-round foraging may be responsible.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Typical of most talus-dwelling pikas, they produce few (generally two) small litters (three to five young) per year.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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