dcsimg

Brief Summary

    Northern pika: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    The northern pika (Ochotona hyperborea) also known as the Japanese guinea pig is a species of pika found across mountainous regions of northern Asia, from the Ural Mountains to northern Japan and south through Mongolia, Manchuria and northern Korea. An adult northern pika has a body length of 12.5–18.5 centimeters (4.9–7.3 in), and a tail of 0.5–1.2 centimeters (0.20–0.47 in). The pika sheds its fur twice annually, bearing a reddish-brown coat in the summer and grayish-brown coat in winter. It feeds on various plant material and makes "hay piles" for winter use.

    license
    cc-by-sa-3.0
    copyright
    Wikipedia authors and editors
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    wikipedia
    ID
    9170e4907fe6fe46284899e602d87065

Comprehensive Description

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Ochotona hyperborea is found in the Ural, Putorana, and Sayan mountains, east of the Lena River to Chukotka, Koryatsk and Kamchatka, upper Yenesi, Transbaikalia and Amur regions, eastern and southern Siberia, northern Mongolia, Manchuria, North Korea, Sakhalin Island (Russia) and Hokkaido (Japan).

    Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native )

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/geographic_range

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    During the summer, the fur of northern pikas is light brownish-red and gradually becomes redder along the sides. The belly is reddish-white. In the winter months the fur is much grayer with a hint of brown coloration.

    Species of Ochotona are similar in body mass and morphology. Northern pikas range in length from 127 to 186 mm, with a tail length of 50 to 120 mm. Sexes are monomorphic and hard to distinguish. The fur is long, dense, soft and fine. Pikas have rounded ears that are about as wide as they are high. Their legs are short; the hind legs are only slightly shorter than their forelimbs. They have five fingers and toes and the feet are heavily furred on the underside.

    Range length: 127 to 186 mm.

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

    Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/physical_description

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Ochotona hyperborea most often inhabits the talus region of rocky terrain in moist coniferous forests. Sometimes they will burrow under or near tree stumps or fallen logs.

    Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

    Terrestrial Biomes: mountains

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/habitat

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    During the summer and early autumn months northern pikas gather grasses, sedges, weeds, and many flowering and woody plant parts. They sometimes climb a few meters into trees and ontolimbs to cut twigs. Grasses are often placed in exposed locations to be cured by the sun. Once dried, vegetation is stored in hay piles. Hay piles are made within each individual's territory and are consumed by a mating pair in the winter. During the winter, northern pikas make tunnels in the snow to harvest nearby vegetation.

    Northern pikas are coprophagous. They defecate small green droppings, typically during the day. At night, they defecate black droppings which are often encased in a gelatinous substance. The black droppings have higher energy values and are reingested.

    Plant Foods: leaves; seeds, grains, and nuts; flowers; bryophytes; lichens

    Other Foods: dung

    Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

    Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore ); coprophage

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/food_habits

Associations

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    During the winter months, ungulates such as reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) eat the food stores of northern pikas. Hares, marmots and voles also feed on pika food stores. Pikas compete with other small herbivores for foliage resources.

    Remnant pika food stores may promote plant growth in the area. Nitrophylic plants grow well in piles of pika fecal pellets. Northern pikas may also change nearby habitat by overgrazing, which alters the composition of plant communitites.

    Mutualist Species:

    • reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)
    • snow sheep (Ovis nivicola)
    • hares (Lepus)
    • marmots (Marmota)
    • voles (Arvicolinae)
    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/ecosystem_roles
    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Northern pikas don’t hibernate, this makes them more vulnerable to predation from middle-sized mustelid, felid or canid carnivores. Northern pikas are an important food source for some mustelids, such as ermine (Mustela erminea) and sables (Martes zibellina). Pikas avoid predation by using pathways in their talus habitats to avoid being out in the open. They are also cryptically colored and may emit warning whistles when predators are detected.

    Known Predators:

    • ermine (Mustela erminea)
    • sables (Martes zibellina)

    Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/predation

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    A song is used by males during the breeding season. This long call is composed of a chattering sounds followed by a sequence of loud sharp whistles. It is possible to distinguish individuals by their calls. Northern pikas do not respond to calls of northern pikas from other territories. A short call is used between mated pairs to announce presence or to warn others of an approaching predator. In the spring only females use the short call. In the fall, a short call can be heard from either sex. Different dialects of the short call have been observed in different parts of their range.

    Northern pikas mark territories by rubbing their neck glands on the corners of stones. This occurs more often in the spring. Territory may also be marked by urination.

    Communication Channels: acoustic ; chemical

    Other Communication Modes: scent marks

    Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/communication

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The average lifespan of O. hyperborea is two years. It is rare from them to live longer than three years.

    Typical lifespan
    Status: wild:
    3 (high) years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: wild:
    2 years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    9.4 years.

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/lifespan_longevity

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    During the mating season males frequently give successive calls to declare their possession of territory. While northern pikas typically live as mated pairs, males may breed with three females. Males may travel over 200 m to mate with another female. Occasionally, females will be visited by multiple males at the same time.

    Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

    Northern pikas have stable populations but low reproductive rates. Northern pikas in the northern parts of their range tend to have one large litter a year. In the southern parts of their range they breed twice a year, with slightly smaller litters. Litter size ranges from one to nine young, with average litter size being three to four. Gestation period is 28 days. Sources disagree over whether northern pikas breed as yearlings or if females are unable to breed until their second year.

    Breeding interval: Northern pikas in the northern parts of their range tend to have one large litter a year. In the southern parts of their range they breed twice a year, with slightly smaller litters.

    Breeding season: Northern pikas breed once in the spring and, if they breed twice a year, again in the summer.

    Range number of offspring: 1 to 9.

    Average number of offspring: 3-4.

    Average gestation period: 28 days.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    When young leave their natal territory varies geographically. In the southern parts of their range young disperse and form pairs in their first summer. In the northern part of their range, young that are born in the summer remain with their parents throughout the winter before dispersing. Northern pikas in the Ural Mountains also contributed to their parent’s food stores while they remained in their territory. Females nurse and care for their young in a summer nest. The mated pair or family group contribute to gathering food stores for the winter.

    Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female); post-independence association with parents

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/reproduction

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Northern pikas appear to be common throughout their range.

    US Federal List: no special status

    CITES: no special status

    State of Michigan List: no special status

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/conservation_status

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There are no known adverse effects of northern pikas on humans.

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/economic_importance_negative
    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    In the past the fur of O. hyperborea was used to make high quality felt. Trapping of pikas for their fur is no longer economically viable, so is no longer common.

    Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material

    license
    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    O'Brien, A. 2007. "Ochotona hyperborea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_hyperborea.html
    author
    Allison O'Brien, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Chris Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    editor
    Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ochotona_hyperborea/economic_importance_positive