Social relationships of adult black-lipped pikas (Ochotona curzoniae)

A. T. Smith, Xue Gao Wang Xue Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Near Qinghai Lake, China, families of pikas occupied relatively discrete home ranges that contained a burrow system with many entrances in continuous alpine-meadow habitat. Some burrow systems contained a monogamous pair of breeding adults; in others one male controlled access to >2 females. During the breeding period, adult males vigorously guarded females with which they were associated. Young from three sequential large litters occupied their natal home ranges and did not disperse during the reproductive season. Density on individual home ranges increased throughout the study, and population density reached c300 animals/ha following emergence of the 3rd litter. Most interactions among adults involved reproduction (following, approaching, mating) and occurred early in summer. Most social interactions were affiliative and were between adults and juveniles within family home ranges. Most interactions involved adult males. Adult males also were responsible for most other behaviors that could be associated with vigilance and awareness of the social milieu on the meadow and with maintenance of home-range quality. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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