Ed’s note: This post was written by Contributing Editor, Kate Derrick.
These little guys are extremely cute.
The Tibetan Pika live on the Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of around 14,000 feet.
They are a small mammal related to the rabbit.
The Pika feeds on grass and burrows on the plateau. This burrowing is thought to aid in the soil health of the plateau.
These little guys only live for about a year. The female Pika can have a litter every three weeks over the summer breeding season.
Unfortunately these little guys are being poisoned (on purpose by people) as they are thought to be in competition with agricultural animals (yaks, sheep) for the same food source.
The Pika are thought to be a keystone species (which means they are essential to the ecosystem in which they live)!
Check out this great, short clip by Professor Andrew Smith who has been studying these little guys for more than 30 years: