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Meet Lil Pika the 'Magic Rabbit'
by KindMeal.my, 27 March 2015
Meet Lil Pika the 'Magic Rabbit'

An extremely rare teddy-bear lookalike mammal has been spotted in China for the first time in 20 years.

The tiny Ili Pika, an eight-inch long rabbit-relative, is one of the world's most endangered animals with less than 1,000 animals believed to be left in its natural habitat.

The Ili Pika population is believed to have declined by almost 70 per cent since its discovery in 1983, scientists say. The Ili Pika, formally known as Ochotona iliensis, was discovered by conservationist Li Weidong in 1983, who named it after his hometown.

The animals can only be found in the Tianshan mountain range in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, and its territory is under threat, with the population rapidly declining.

When the lil Pika was first discovered, Mr Li and his team estimated that there were around 2,900 animals living in the Tianshan mountain range.

Nearly 20 years later, in 2002, Mr Li conducted a new demographic, which found that the population had dropped to 2,000. Last year's fresh census, which is when the Ili Pika was spotted for the first time in 20 years, concluded that the population is down to less than 1,000 pikas.

'I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered,' Mr Li told CNN. 'If it becomes extinct in front of me, I'll feel so guilty.'

Very little is known about this rare species, as no successful observations about its ecology, behaviour or reproduction has been carried out.

Mr Li believes global warming is the cause of the decline in Ili Pikas as the altitude of permanent snow in the Tianshan mountain range has risen. 'This tiny species could be extinct any time,' Mr Li added. 'They don't exist in the sites where they used to be anymore.'

Animals like lil Pika and many more are facing extinction because of us humans. If we could learn to treasure and appreciate the diversity of life, their beauty would certainly flourish across the planet. Let's start with some tasty meat-free meals to save animals and environment at http://KindMeal.my

Source: http://dailym.ai/1FUcjTJ « Back To Articles