Near-Extinct Ili Pika Photographed. The First Time in 20 years


Lli pika, a small mountainous animal from China, has been photographed for the first time in 20 years. This animal is supposed to on the verge of extinction. After numerous attempts of photographing it, researchers have finally succeeded. The lli pika was discovered in 1983.


It looks very cute with a teddy bear like face. The lli pika mainly lives in mountains and was first spotted in the Tian Shan Mountains, China, where it lives in the holes and cracks of the cliffs. After its initial discovery, the lli pika has been very seldom seen and scientists were in a dilemma and suggested the animal to be added to the endangered species list. This animal has been spotted rarely; in fact only 29 live lli pika has been spotted. The ecology and behavior of this animal is still a mystery.

Even after the knowledge of lli pika’s whereabouts, scientists and researchers have found it very difficult to photograph it. For instance two researchers Andrew Smith from the Arizona State University and Li Wei-Dong from the Xinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection went on an expedition to study about the lli pika. After thirty seven days of effort with seven trips to twelve different sites, they returned unsuccessful.

Recently Weidong Li, discoverer of the lli pika and a scientist at the Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography, led a group of researchers in the Tian Shan Mountains on an expedition to search pikas. As they were setting up the cameras, the group spotted a pika curiously looking from a gap in the cliff. And Li quickly snapped a few pics of it.

Tatsuya Shin, a naturalist in China and works with the pika’s discoverers said “They found it hiding behind a rock, and they realized they had found the pika. They were very excited.”

With the rediscovery of lli pika, Li plans to create conservation areas for them.