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SPECIES Ochotona (Ochotona) cansus

Author:Lyon, 1907.
Citation:Smithson. Misc. Coll., 50: 136.
Common Name:Gansu Pika
Type Locality:"Taocheo, Kan-su, China" [Lintan, Gannan A.D., Gansu, China].
Distribution:C China (Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan); isolated populations in Shaanxi and Shanxi.
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc); but the Shanxi subspecies sorella, isolated in the extreme NW of the species range (Yunshung Shan) is IUCN – Endangered and the subspecies morosa is IUCN – Data Deficient.
Comments:Subgenus Ochotona. Büchner (1890) originally included this species in the quite different O. roylei, but in recent years it has usually been assigned to O. thibetana (Allen, 1938; Argyropulo, 1948; Corbet, 1978c; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951; Gureev, 1964; Honacki et al., 1982; Weston, 1982). Additional studies showed that cansus and thibetana are broadly sympatric, with distinct ecological niches, and morphological characters that do not intergrade (Feng and Kao, 1974; Feng and Zheng, 1985). The latter authors, without access to holotypes, assigned the race morosa to thibetana, but it is an isolated subspecies of cansus that is sympatric with O. thibetana in the Tsing Ling Shan, Shaanxi Province (A. T. Smith et al., 1990, and references therein). Recent phylogenetic analyses based on molecular sequencing also show that morosa is a synonym of O. cansus rather than O. thibetana, and that the two species are independent (Yu et al., 1997; Yu et al., 2000). May also include annectens Miller, 1911, which is usually considered a subspecies of O. dauurica; but Yu et al. (2000) treat annectens as an independent sister species of O. cansus; see comments under that species. Until more data become available, we prefer to leave annectens as a subspecies of dauurica (Pavlinov et al., 1995b).







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