Pikas

32 species

Pikas are small, mountain-dwelling mammals. They live in Asia and North America and are also known as whistling hares because of their high-pitched alarm call when diving into their burrow. Pikas do not hibernate and are active during daylight (diurnal) or twilight hours (crepuscular). They prefer rocky slopes and graze on a range of plants, mostly grasses, flowers, and young stems. In the autumn they pull hay, soft twigs, and other stores of food into their burrows to eat during the long, cold winter. Burrowing species often share food stores with their burrow mates; however, each rock-dwelling pika stores its own ‘haypile’ of dried vegetation, and many of the vocalizations and social behaviors that pikas exhibit are related to haypile defense. While North American pikas prefer to lead solitary lives outside the breeding season, Eurasian pikas usually live in family groups and share duties of gathering food and keeping watch.
Pikas are small, mountain-dwelling mammals. They live in Asia and North America and are also known as whistling hares because of their high-pitched alarm call when diving into their burrow. Pikas do not hibernate and are active during daylight (diurnal) or twilight hours (crepuscular). They prefer rocky slopes and graze on a range of plants, mostly grasses, flowers, and young stems. In the autumn they pull hay, soft twigs, and other stores of food into their burrows to eat during the long, cold winter. Burrowing species often share food stores with their burrow mates; however, each rock-dwelling pika stores its own ‘haypile’ of dried vegetation, and many of the vocalizations and social behaviors that pikas exhibit are related to haypile defense. While North American pikas prefer to lead solitary lives outside the breeding season, Eurasian pikas usually live in family groups and share duties of gathering food and keeping watch.