Distribution of Royle’s Pika Ochotona roylei in Parvati Kunda Groundwater Complex
ABSTRACT: Royle’s Pika Ochotona roylei is high altitude animal belonging to the family Ochotonidae in order Lagomorpha. Royle’s Pika was reported in different locations between an elevation of 2180 to 5950 meters above sea level (m asl). This study carried in February and October 2017 recorded a small population of Royle’s Pika in the Parvati Kunda Groundwater Complex of Gatlang village in Rasuwa District, Nepal. A totalof 12 Royle’s pika individuals were head counted from three sites while Pika foraged plants were observed inother sites. Pika was observed in talus groove amidst Rhododendron-fir forest, Fir-hemlock forest, and Rhododendron shrub close to the alpine meadow. Pika in the study was distributed from the Parvati Kunda wetland proximity at an elevation of 2605m with a direct count of 2 individuals to an elevation of 3000 m asl beneath Tshumer hill with a headcount of 7 individuals. However, the population of Royle’s Pika in the area was estimated more. The population density of 6 individuals/hectare was calculated in the area, which is relatively lower than the population density accounted for in other areas.
Keywords: Distribution, Gatlang, Parvati Kunda, Royle’s Pika