Northern Pika | ©alexdersu

The Northern Pika, Ochotona hyperborea is a small lagomorph that has its own taxonomic family (Ochotonidae).

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) [1].

Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)

The plateau pika, also known as the black-lipped pika, is a species of mammal in the pika family, Ochotonidae. It is a small diurnal and non-hibernating mammal weighing about 140g when full grown. The animals are reddish tan on the top-side with more of a whitish yellow on their under-belly. They prefer to live in elevations of 3,100 to 5,000 m, mostly in the Tibetan Plateau, which is where the common name originates from. The species is found in China, Pakistan, India, and Nepal in high alpine deserts, steppe and meadows, as well as tropical and subtropical montane forests. Plateau pikas are considered to be a keystone species as they play a role in recycling nutrients in soil, providing food to predators such as; foxes, weasels, falcons and owls. They also provide microhabitats by increasing plant richness and their burrows provides nests for small birds and reptiles.

photo credits: David Blank

pikas are actually related to rabbits…even though they remind me of hamsters.

they live on mountains and gather plants to store for the winter and they’re really cute :)