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Pikas, rabbits, and hares. Today consist of 2 families, ~13 genera, ~80 species Ochotonidae- pikas Leporidae- jackrabbits & hares and rabbits Prolagidae-

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Presentation on theme: "Pikas, rabbits, and hares. Today consist of 2 families, ~13 genera, ~80 species Ochotonidae- pikas Leporidae- jackrabbits & hares and rabbits Prolagidae-"— Presentation transcript:

1 pikas, rabbits, and hares

2 Today consist of 2 families, ~13 genera, ~80 species Ochotonidae- pikas Leporidae- jackrabbits & hares and rabbits Prolagidae- Mediterranean giant pikas (extinct) Earliest fossil- 55 million years ago in Mongolia Families much more diverse in the Tertiary period than today

3 Herbivores Peg like teeth Terrestrial Found on all continents except Antarctica Exotic species in Australia and New Zealand Similar adaptations to Rodentia Possible Superorder Glires???

4 Ochotonidae Small ears Short limbs No tails Notched incisors Talus slopes or steppe areas Ochotonidae Small ears Short limbs No tails Notched incisors Talus slopes or steppe areas

5 Rabbits Well-constructed, fur lined nests Altricial young Interparietal bone in skull 42 chromosomes Rabbits Well-constructed, fur lined nests Altricial young Interparietal bone in skull 42 chromosomes Hares Shallow depressions, “forms” Precocial young NO interparietal bone 48 chromosomes Hares Shallow depressions, “forms” Precocial young NO interparietal bone 48 chromosomes

6 Smith, A. (2008). The World of Pikas. In Lagomorph biology evolution, ecology, and conservation. Ed. Alves, P et. al. Springer: New York

7 Induced ovulation Egg is released shortly after copulation Postpartum estrus Gestation period trade off Higher latitudes have shorter gestation periods to produce more young in favorable weather, and larger litter size longer gestation in tropical species are born more fully developed and able to avoid predators Chapman, J. (1984). Latitude and Gestation Period in New World Rabbits. The American Naturalist 124(3):

8 Ingestion of feces (hard & soft) Quickly excrete poorly digestible large particles (hard), retain fine particles for excretion and re-ingestion (soft) Very sophisticated digestive system Feces Hard Day-time Food digestibility Night- time (temporary) Supplemental food Soft Vitamins and microbial proteins Hirakawa, H. (2001). Coprophagy in leporids and other mammalian herbivores. Mammalian Review 31:61-80

9 Storing food for winter?? Not enough food Don’t eat all that is stored Haypile size have no relation to mortality Conclusions: Enough food for 8 months Need large piles because only 25% of what is stored is available Store food to survive shortages Secondary use: bedding Dearing, M.D. (1997). The Function of Haypiles of Pika. Journal of Mammalogy 78(4): Biomass of haypile throughout the year

10 Observed species available and species chose based on diversity and abundance Selective in vegetation for making hay Chose plants rich in secondary compounds (tannins) Reject evergreens Conclusions: Eat what is most available in summer store what is not edible in summer for winter do not store what will be available in winter Gliwicz, J., S. Pagacz, J. Witczuk. (2006). Strategy of Food Plant Selection in the Siberian Northern Pika. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 38(1): 54-59

11 Brought to Australia by Europeans as a game species to be hunted Degrade the land, reduce native vegetation, and may cause extinction of native mammals Control Methods Biological control (virus) Hunting and trapping Rabbit-proof fence Poisoning

12 Remain close to the location they were born Dispersal can be difficult Survival of one patch is highly dependent on the number of neighboring patches Need to learn what causes patches to be recolonized or to go extinct to ensure the future of the pika Smith, A. (2008). The World of Pikas. In Lagomorph biology evolution, ecology, and conservation. Ed. Alves, P et. al. Springer: New York

13 1. Diversity within the order Pika, rabbits, and hares 2. Reproduction Induced ovulation, gestation periods 3. Foraging Adaptations Hay making and coprophagy 4. Management Issues too many, metapopulation dynamics

14 Chapman, J. (1984). Latitude and Gestation Period in New World Rabbits. The American Naturalist 124(3): Chapman, J. & J.E.C. Flux. (2008) Introduction to the Lagomorpha. In Lagomorph biology evolution, ecology, and conservation. Ed. Alves, P et. al. Springer: New York Dearing, M.D. (1997). The Function of Haypiles of Pika. Journal of Mammalogy 78(4): Gliwicz, J., S. Pagacz, J. Witczuk. (2006). Strategy of Food Plant Selection in the Siberian Northern Pika. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 38(1): Hirakawa, H. (2001). Coprophagy in leporids and other mammalian herbivores. Mammalian Review 31:61-80 Smith, A. (2008). The World of Pikas. In Lagomorph biology evolution, ecology, and conservation. Ed. Alves, P et. al. Springer: New York northwestnaturalmoments.blogspot.com westerncascades.com environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca, thehuntinglife.com wild-facts.com


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