Turkestan red pika

Turkestan red pika
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Ochotonidae
Genus: Ochotona
Species: O. rutila
Binomial name
Ochotona rutila
(Severtzov, 1873)
Turkestan Red Pika range

The Turkestan red pika (Ochotona rutila) is a species of mammal in the family Ochotonidae. It is found in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, possibly Afghanistan, and possibly China. It prefers rocky habitats and is found mostly in the Pamir, Kirgiz, Gissar, and Tien Shan mountain ranges. The "red" in its common name comes from the rusty color of the back of its summer coat. It is also known as the “silent” pika because it doesn’t make an alarm whistle or other vocal noises.

Like other pikas, the Turkestan red pika is herbivorous. However, unlike most other pikas, it is averse to coming out into open meadows and does most of its feeding on plants growing among the rocks. Because of this, each individual’s territory is considerably bigger than that of the average rock-dwelling pika.

The Turkestan red pika generally has two litters of two to six offspring annually. Its mating habits may vary based on the population size in the area each year. Unusually for pikas that live in rocky habitats, its young may spend their first winter on their parents’ territory.


  1. Smith, A.T. & Boyer, A.F. (2008). "Ochotona rutila". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.

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