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Pikas

Collared Pika, American Pika

Rabbit Information    Picture of Rock Rabbit

The Collared Pika, or northern pika, is found in Northern British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and Western Northern Territories of Canada.  It gets its name from the grey color on its neck and shoulders. Pika Rock Rabbit picture

The American Pika, or southern pika, is found in the mountains of North America in rocky fields and is declining rapidly due to its sensitivity of the high temperatures that keeps moving them to higher elevations. 
Similar in appearance to the hamster with its body size and small ears, the pika is a cousin to the rabbit.  Unlike most rabbits though, it is active during the day and sleeps at night.  The pika is identified by its brown body color and grey sides.  It also has small brown ears, white belly and a tail that is so small that it cannot be seen. 
Preferring cold climates, the pika lives in groups and does not hibernate.  Just before the winter season they collect hay for bedding and food to keep warm.  They spend the summer collecting vegetation and grasses to be stacked and dried before being stored under rocks as winter supplies.  The closer winter comes, the more aggressive and territorial the pika becomes.  The hay that they collect and stack can grow up to two feet high and two feet in diameter.  They use these haystacks year after year for shelter and food. 

Towards late spring and again in early summer, female pikas bare two to three blind and hairless young.  When its main predator the weasel is detected, the pika doesn’t emit any type of call or sound, because the weasel is small enough to follow them into their burrows.  When other predators such as hawks, owls, and eagles are detected, they will call loudly to warn others and then dart into their burrow or in the cracks between the rocks.
Pikas carry parasites such as the Bot fly larvae, fleas and mites.


Rabbit Information            Pika Information