Turkestan red pika

Ochotona rutila

TAXONOMY

Ochotona rutila (Severtzov, 1873), Kazakhstan. No subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Known primarily for its rich rust-reddish dorsal pelage in summer. Size and weight not available.

DISTRIBUTION

Primarily found in the Parmir, Kirgiz, Gissar, and Tien Shan mountains of central Asia.

HABITAT

A typical rock-dwelling pika in the central Asian mountains. BEHAVIOR

It is unusual among rock-dwelling pikas by having a significantly larger territory on which it forages, and its tendency for juveniles to over-winter on the territory with their parents. Sometimes this is called the "silent" pika, as it has no song or typical alarm call.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Construct large haypiles. They appear more reticent to forage on open meadows than most pikas, confining most of their foraging to patches of vegetation among the rocks on its large territory.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Normally two litters are initiated, and litter size is small (two to six young/litter). Mating system may vary yearly depending on populations of local territories.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Common, not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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