Dependence of Tibetan foxes on plateau pikas

Qunxiu Liu

A unique web of fauna and flora on the Tibetan plateau is facilitated by the existence of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae). Blamed for causing range degradation in western China, pikas are currently the target of massive, government-funded poisoning campaigns. Tibetan foxes (Vulpes ferrilata) are generally considered to be obligate predators on plateau pikas, but have received little attention (the species also has cultural and economic value in Tibet as a furbearer). This project will examine the pika-fox link in depth, providing crucial information to inform the debate about pikas, range degradation, and grassland management.