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Author (up) Smith, A.T.; Foggin, M.J. url  openurl
  Title The Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a Keystone Species for Biodiversity on the Tibetan Plateau Type Journal Article
  Year 1998 Publication Animal Conservation Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 2 Issue Pages 235-240  
  Keywords prey; species; pika; Tibet; tibetan plateau; domestic livestock; biodiversity; browse; 90  
  Abstract It is necessary to look at the big picture when managing biological resources on the QinghaiXizang (Tibetan) plateau. Plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) are poisoned widely across the plateau. Putative reasons for these control measures are that pika populations may reach high densities and correspondingly reduce forage for domestic livestock (yak, sheep, horses), and because they may be responsible for habitat degradation. In contrast, we highlight the important role the plateau pika plays as a keystone species in the Tibetan plateau ecosystem. The plateau pika is a keystone species because it: (i) makes burrows that are the primary homes to a wide variety of small birds and lizards; (ii) creates microhabitat disturbance that results in an increase in plant species richness; (iii) serves as the principal prey for nearly all of the plateau's predator species; (iv) contributes positively to ecosystem-level dynamics. The plateau pika should be managed in concert with other uses of the land to ensure preservation of China's native biodiversity, as well as long-term sustainable use of the pastureland by domestic livestock.  
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  Notes Cambridge University PressCopyright c 1999 The Zoological Society of London Document Type: English Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rana @ 357 Serial 902  
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