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Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand, India

(Ochotona nubrica)

IUCN status : Least Concern

Nubra Pikas are little rodents with no visible tail. They have stout bodies, short legs, and small ears. Most species have thick fur, which comes in handy living in old mountain peaks. They are found in high altitudes, primarily along the tree line. Pikas eat their food twice. This close relative of the rabbit performs a similar behavior while foraging for food. After a meal, they produce green feces consisting of plants and grass. To better absorb the nutrients, they then eat these feces. The second time around, their stool looks like normal rodent poop, dark and solid. Female pikas are called “does,” and males are called “Bucks.” Males are usually slightly larger than females. Unlike some other cold-weather species, pikas do not hibernate over the winter. Instead, to survive the winter they store food for themselves in their tunnels. Throughout the summer, these mammals create piles of grass, dry them in the sun, and bring them to their burrows to store for the winter.

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