Xinjiang: Rare Ili Pika (Small Mountain Mammal) Spotted by Volunteers! (23.8.2022)

Populations Are Declining – But the Government is taking Action!

The Ili Pika (scientific name: Ochotona iliensis) is a petite mountain mammal, about 20 cm long, possessing large ears and grey fur scattered with brown spots (it is sometimes referred to as a short-eared rabbit). It exists only in Xinjiang, China, and its populations have been seen to be dropping in recent decades! This species was not discovered until 1983 – but scientific strategies are being implemented in an attempt to gather data and assist these animals to survive! As they mainly inhabit the bare rock areas of the Tianshan Mountains (between heights of 2,800 and 4,100 meters above sea level) – encounters with humans are rare! Within the Chinese language, these animals are known as ‘伊犁鼠兔’ (Yi Li Shu Tu)! If you would like to see more photographs of this cute furry little creature – then please click HERE: