Ochotona royeli  - Indian  Pika (click to enlarge)

Ochotona royeli – Indian Pika (click to enlarge)

Common name Indian  Pika
Latin name Ochotona roylei
Local name Runda (Garhwali), Wuse-gagun ( Kashmiri)
IUCN/WPA/Indian status Least concern/ IV / Locally Common
Social unit Pairs and offspring
Size / weight HBL: 15.5- 20.4 cm, EL: 1.7- 2.1 cm Wt. 100- 150 g
Description The most common pika of the Himalayas, the Indian or Royle’s pika is a moderately large, richly coloured species, rufous- grey body, a chestnut head, shoulders and upper back, reddish purple throat and greyish white to dark grey under parts.  The reddish colouration fades in winter, but the distinction between the  upper and lower parts remains.  It has moderately sized ears with sparse hair.  The eyes are low- set and slightly arches. The female bears two pairs of mammae.
Behavior It does not burrow but moves underground through existing burrow systems in rocky and scree slopes.  It constructs hay piles, hoards limited food for winter and is  crepuscular.
Distribution Southern Ladakh and  other regions of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Utterkhand,  northern West Bengal and Sikkim
Habitat Rocky or broken ground, pine deodar or rhododendron forest, and rock walls in human habitation. May prefer north-eastern aspect.