Ili Pika – “The magic rabbit”

Introducing the Ili Pika


This extremely rare mammal is called an Ili pika and has been spotted for the first time in 20 years.

Sixty-year-old retired conservationist Li Weidong has been on a mission for over 30 years to document and protect the highly-endangered Ili Pika – a mysterious rabbit-like mammal only found in China.

Mr Li first spotted the “magic bunny” in 1983.  At that time, Li estimated there were around 2,900 of the magic rabbits living in the Chinese mountain ranges.

He believes the effects of global warming and disease may have caused its numbers to decline by almost 70 per cent since its discovery. They now number less than 1,000.


 Interesting Facts

  1. These cute little guys grow to up to 20 cm long, have large ears and small brown spots on their little grey bodies.
  2. They eat grasses, herbs and plants, and stockpile hay in their burrows to eat during the cold winter months.
  3. They are much quieter than other species of pikas, which means that they are unable to warn each other when predators are near.
  4. They are considered endangered and need help to stop them from becoming extinct.


Picture: Li Weidong


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