A Little Animal That Totally Resembles an Ewok 

The Ili pika (Ochotona iliensis) is a species of mammal in the family Ochotonidae, endemic to northwest China. After its discovery in 1983, it was not documented again until 2014. Its population is declining due to largely unknown causes, and it is currently considered to be endangered.

The Ili pika somewhat resembles a short-eared rabbit. It is large for a pika, with a length of 20.3–20.4 cm and a weight of up to 250 g. It has brightly colored hair and displays large rusty-red spots on forehead, crown, and the sides of the neck.

It is endemic to the Tian Shan mountains of northwest Chinese province Xinjiang. A recent census indicated that the Ili pika may have been extirpated from the Jilimalale and Hutubi South Mountains.


Almost nothing is known about the ecology or behavior of the species. The Ili pika has low population densities. It is mostly a diurnal species, but may exhibit nocturnal activity. Only one to two litters are produced each year, but litter size for this species is unknown.


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