Fun Alpine Pika Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Alpine Pika Facts For Kids

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People are not that aware that there are many small species of animals that surround us. One of the many types of mammals is pikas. These small animals are the mountain-dwelling species that are mostly found in the cold season of America and Asia and are not that rare. There are 30 species of pika that are found in the world, but two are most famous among them. Those species is alpine pika (Ochotona alpina) and American pika (Ochotona princeps).

German botanist and zoologist, Peter Simon Pallas, initially defined the alpine pika in 1773 in his work (Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs). It is a huge species within the pika family which includes small mammals which have short ears, forelimbs barely longer than hind limbs, and it has no external tail at all.

Here on our page, we have lots of interesting facts on the alpine pika for everyone to enjoy. Let's have a look at these interesting facts, and if you do like these, you can read our collared pika and Bornean orangutan facts too.

Fun Alpine Pika Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Alpine grasses, sedges, thistles, fireweed, plants

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.5-0.7 lb (226.7-317.5 g)

How long are they?

6-9.3 in (15.2-23.6 cm)

How tall are they?

9.3 in (23.6 cm)

What do they look like?

Cinnamon or dark brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Climate Change, Habitat Destruction, Global Warming, Livestock Grazing, Human Disturbance

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Mountainous Talus Areas And Rocky Areas


Russia, Mongolia, North China, Western Kazakhstan










Alpine Pika Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an alpine pika?

The alpine pika is a small and tiny mountain-dwelling species of mammals that are very similar to rabbits and hares.

What class of animals do alpine pikas belong to?

The alpine pika is a tiny species of animal that belongs to the class of Mammalia, the family of Ochotonidae, and the genus of Ochotona.

How many alpine pikas are there in the world?

The exact populations of the alpine pikas are not known to the world yet. But despite the lack of information, they are on the Least Concern list of animals which indicates that their population is stable and they are safe on this earth.

Where does an alpine pika live?

The alpine pikas live in Asian countries like western Kazakhstan, Mongolia, north China, and some range of Western Russian regions like Krasnoyarsk, Tuva, Altai, and Irkutsk. Unlike the alpine pika, the American pika (Ochotona princeps) is found in the North-western American range like Alberta and British Columbia.

What is an alpine pika's habitat?

The alpine pika's habitat is the winter and cold climate areas like the rocky areas, mountains, talus, vegetation meadows behind the rock piles surrounding the cliffs. This high-pitched pika family is well adapted to cold and winter climate temperatures and cannot survive in the very hot and summer climate temperatures. Because of this reason, the pikas live in the rocky talus mountains and habitat, which are fully isolated and at an elevation of 9842 ft (2999.8 m) high.

Who do alpine pikas live with?

The alpine pika creates their own territory where they live with their family. The pikas create a small group of pikas that contains males, females as well as young pikas. As they survive on the high elevation rocky and cold in temperatures mountains, no humans are found in that diversity. That is why they create territory and continue to live in their own areas of rocky mountains.

How long does an alpine pika live?

The average lifespan of the alpine pikas is up to three to four years in total.

How do they reproduce?

The alpine pikas breed twice a year, in both the summer and winter temperatures. After the mating process, the gestation period follows for around one month, and after that, the three to four young babies are born. The young pikas soon adapt to the winter and summer seasons, depending on which season they are born. It is difficult for young babies in winter, but they eventually get acclimated to the climate.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the alpine pikas is listed as the Least Concern species by the IUCN and National Wildlife Service. Although there is no major information about their growth, their populations are still stable as of now. But the other pika species, American pika, are listed as Endangered by the National Wildlife services and IUCN as their growth is declining because of the increase in Global Warming.

Alpine Pika Fun Facts

What does alpine pika look like?

The alpine pikas are small mammal species that are similar in size to rabbits and hares. These pikas are cinnamon and dark brown in color with yellow-gray color back with a thick coat of fur on the body. The middle part of the body is rusty red in color with yellow undersides. The ears are round in shape, while the skull is narrow and longer than the American pika.

The alpine pikas are tiny wildlife creature who resembles the hares and rabbits species in length and size.

How cute are they?

Squirrels and rabbits are cute little wildlife creatures, and so are alpine pikas. They are an adorable species that anyone wants to hold and cuddle.

How do they communicate?

The communication strategy that all the pikas, whether alpine pika or the American pika, use is by producing the high-pitched call as well as songs which they sing. This vocalization is used to attract mates and to alert their families about the predators. The call of these pikas, especially the American pika is so loud that they can be heard before they are seen.

How big is an alpine pika?

The average size that all the pikas, whether the alpine or American pika, can be is around 6-9.3 in (15.2-23.6 cm) in length. These creatures are much smaller than the European rabbit, which is 15.7 in (39.8 cm).

How fast can alpine pikas run?

The speed that an alpine pika can run is not estimated yet. No information tells us about the speed of alpine pikas, but it is stated that the American pika can up to the speed of 15 mph (24.1 kph).

How much does an alpine pika weigh?

The average weight that alpine pikas can be is up to 0.5-0.7 lb (226.7-317.5 g) in total.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no such specific names for the male and female species of the alpine pikas. There is no particular differentiation between both sexes.

What would you call a baby alpine pika?

There is no particular name that the baby alpine pika is known as. They are just called young pika.

What do they eat?

The alpine pikas are herbivores, so the food that makes their diet are small grasses, plants, sedges, fireweed, thistles. Anything related to vegetation and grasses and flowers is the main food for them. For the winter season, these creatures prefer to collect their food in hay piles so that they can easily spend their season. They fulfill their water requirement by eating the vegetation, but they also drink water when available.

Are they dangerous?

The pikas, whether they are American pika or alpine, are not dangerous creatures to humans. Yes, they sometimes show aggressive behavior but only when they feel threatened, or someone is in their territory, but other than that, they are peaceful creatures.

Would they make a good pet?

Pikas are not a good pet to a human. The reason is that these creatures cannot survive in hot temperatures and can die easily. Other than that, these creatures are not made for household life.

Did you know...

The special thing that pikas have is that they can also communicate with the use of scent markings. It means that they can deposit their scents someplace, which works as the signal for the other pikas.

What characteristics make a pika unique?

The characteristic that makes pikas unique from other animals is that they are the animals that are active all the time. Whether it is the day or dawn or summer or winter, they do not hibernate and continue to collect their food. These creatures only sleep at night like all mammals.

What animals eat pikas?

The famous predators of the pikas are the coyotes, hawks, and weasels. As pikas are small creatures, they can get easily targeted by large animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  For more relatable content, check out these gopher facts and eastern harvest mouse facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Alpine pika coloring pages.

Written By
Divya Raghav

Divya Raghav dons many hats, that of a writer, a community manager, and a strategist. She was born and raised in Bangalore. After completing her Bachelor’s in Commerce from Christ University, she is pursuing her MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. With diverse experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. She loves to bake, dance, and write content and is an avid animal lover.

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