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SPECIES Ochotona (Pika) pallasi

Author:Gray, 1867.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 3, 20: 220.
Common Name:Pallas’s Pika
Type Locality:"...said to come from 'Asiatic Russia-Kirgisen'" (Thomas, 1908b:109). Restricted by Heptner (1941:328) to "southern parts...Karkaralinsk Mountains...north of Lake Balkhash" [Karagandinsk Obl., (Kazakhstan 49°N, 75°E)].
Distribution:Discontinuous in arid areas (mtns and high steppes) in Kazakhstan; Altai Mtns, Tuva (Russia), and Mongolia, to Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia (China).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc); but isolated populations of O. p. hamica (IUCN – Critically Endangered), and O. p. sunidica (IUCN – Endangered) are threatened.
Comments:Subgenus Pika. Includes pricei (Corbet, 1978c) as it is commonly referred to in Russian literature. However, marked difference in reproduction, habitat, behavior, and vocalization suggest that pallasi and pricei may prove to be specifically distinct (A. T. Smith et al., 1990). The name helanshanensis (Zheng, 1987; in Wang, 1990) is restricted to the Helan Shan (Ninxia, China), and its range is congruent with the only known distribution of O. argentata (all known specimens of argentata and helanshanensis originate from the same 2 X 1.5 km forest patch), and here we consider it to be a synonym of argentata (Formozov, 1997; Formozov et al., In Press). On the basis of molecular evidence, Yu et al. (2000) and Niu et al. (2001) felt that helanshanensis (= argentata) should be treated as a subspecies of O. pallasi, but its molecular distance is too great and at the level of species, and its karyotype differs from pallasi, which is sister species to the alpina-hyperborea group (Yu et al., 2000), which includes argentata.







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