PLATEAU PIKA/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



IUCN  Status :Least Concern

Size: 14–19.2 cm

DESCRIPTION: The Plateau Pika is small and sandy brown in colour with paler, slightly yellowish brown underparts. It has distinctive facial markings, with a distinct rust patch behind each ear, a black-tipped nose with a buff patch above the nose, and black lips. The latter gives rise to the name Black-lipped Pika. Its skull is medium-sized and sharply elevated to give it a flat-headed look. The interorbital region is narrow and the tympanic bullae moderate in size.  The winter coat is greyer.

BEHAVIOUR: A very social animal, it lives in a family unit in burrows. A family burrow usually consists of one male, one female and offspring, but polyandry and polygyny are also known.

DISTRIBUTION: Trans-Himalayan, in northern Sikkim, and eastern and northern Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir (4,100–4,700 m). It has been seen to share habitat with L. oiostolus and O. ladacensis, and separate from L. tibetanus, O. macrotis and O. nubrica.

HABITAT: Open steppe and cold desert. Lower altitudes and more grassy habitats compared to its congeneric O. ladacensis.


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