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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 American Pika (Ochotona princeps)




American Pika | Ochotona princeps photo
Pika. Long's Pass, Cascades, Washington.

Photograph by mahalie stackpole. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

American Pika | Ochotona princeps photo
Pika. Long's Pass, Cascades, Washington.

Photograph by mahalie stackpole. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

AMERICAN PIKA FACTS

Description
American Pikas communicate with each other using both short alarm calls, and longer vocalizations. They also mark territory with scent from their cheek glands. The Pika is brown above with buff colored underside. The ears are short. The body is rounded with short tail that is not easily visible.

Other Names
Rocky Mountain Pika, Southern Pika, Rock Rabbit, Piping Hare, Hay-maker, Mouse-hare, Whistling Hare, Cony

Size
Body length: 16cm - 21cm. Weight: 100g average

Environment
mountain habitats in areas of broken rock with nearby vegetation, especially where meadow meets open rocky terrain.

Food
Pikas eat alpine grasses and leaves during the summer. During the summer, they also store grass and herbaceous plants in hay piles in the open or under rocks. These hay piles give them some food for winter but is not enough to feed them all winter - they also forage for other winter food such as cushion plants and lichens.

Breeding
A litter of one to six (average 3) is born after a gestation period of 30 days. The young are weaned after 3 - 4 weeks. They reach adult size after 3 months.

Range
central British Columbia to South-Central California and east to Colorado

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Lagomorpha
Family:Ochotonidae
Genus:Ochotona
Species:princeps
Common Name:American Pika