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In today’s world, there are many animals that we have not discovered or heard of. And there are also animals that people have only heard of and then disappeared without leaving a trace. The same goes for the Ili Pika rabbit. It was not until more than two decades later that scientists had the opportunity to photograph this animal.
Ili pika rabbit reappears after more than 20 years of disappearance. (Photo: CNN)
With a population of less than 1,000 individuals, the Ili pika rabbit is one of the most endangered species in the world. They are even considered rarer than pandas.
The Ili pika rabbit is a mammal of the Ochotona family of rabbits, endemic to northwestern China. The rabbit Ili Pika lives in the Tianshan mountains of Xinjiang, China. In addition, they are found in the northwestern United States and western Canada.
Ili pika rabbits live at altitudes between 2,800 and 4,000 meters. (Photo: CNN)
Ili pika is only found at an altitude of 2,800 – 4,000 meters. Ili pika rabbit is about 20cm long, weighs about 180 grams and has large ears. They have brownish-gray fur, short limbs with cute round ears, and a bear-like face. At first glance, the Ili pika rabbit has a cute appearance like teddy bears. Their food is mainly plants that grow around them. The enemies of the rabbit Ili Pika are foxes, weasels, raptors,…
Ili pika rabbits often seek food in the summer. They will spend all of this warm period storing food for the cold winter. According to the statistics of scientists, an Ili pika rabbit will make 10,000 trips in the summer to accumulate 25 kg of food.
They often take advantage of food in the summer to store up for the cold winter. (Photo: CNN)
But there are many Ili pika rabbits “lazy” by “stealing” other rabbits’ food. Because of this odd habit, they have another nickname “lovely thief”.
The person who discovered the rabbit Ili pika was Mr. Ly Duy Dong in 1983. He then decided to name it after his hometown Ili. Mr. Lee recalls the first time he encountered an Ili pika. “I was climbing a mountain for four hours. I was stopping to catch my breath, when suddenly I saw the shadow of a tiny creature running by. I sat down on the rocks, and then a pair of rabbit ears popped out from a gap in the rock around. The little animal was looking at me and blinking. I thought this was the most beautiful and strange animal. that I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
However, there are many “lazy” Ili pika rabbits that steal other rabbits’ food to make their own. (Photo: CNN)
Scientists have done statistics on Ili pika, and they estimate the number of Ili pika rabbits has dropped from 2,900 in the 1990s to 2,000 in 2005. They are probably around 1,000 now. According to scientists, since its discovery, the number of this species has decreased by 70%.
“Small animals can go extinct at any time. They will no longer exist in the places where they used to live,” Mr. Lee told CNN.
Ili pika used to live at an altitude of about 3,200-3,400 m, but now they have climbed to 4,100 m high places. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified them as endangered, but no organization or expert group has yet intended to study or protect them.
The Ili pika rabbit is in danger of extinction because of climate change and humans. (Photo: CNN)
Global air pollution, climate change and increasing pressure on animal grazing are thought to be the main threats to this species. Another reason is that due to the overpopulation of humans in the areas at the foot of the mountain, their living area is gradually shrinking.
*The article is compiled from Nat Geo, CNN, Lifegate.
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