“Magical Rabbit” Spotted for the First Time in 20 Years!
Not that many people would blame you if you haven’t heard of the Ili Pika before seeing as how it’s one of the most endangered species on the planet. They’re endangered to the point where no one has seen nor heard anything from them in the past twenty years, but that all changed the moment these incredible photographs were taken. Be warned, they’re probably more adorable than you’re expecting!
Li Weidong is the conservationist who first discovered these adorable little critters back in 1983 and they were given the official name “Ochotona Iliensis”, “Ili” after Li’s hometown. It wasn’t until after twenty years had passed that he came across them again in the Tianshian mountains in northern China.
If you ask me, they look like the exact type of thing you’d find in the first route of a Pokemon game.
The discovery wasn’t a bright one it’s sad to say, since Li has unfortunately been forced to watch as the population continues it’s steady decline. It’s estimated that around 70% of their 1983 population density is still around today, some estimates putting their numbers below 1,000. Li has since stated that his growing concern is that he’ll watch the species go extinct right before his eyes, which is a fairly depressing thought to have.
There’s not a whole lot of information on these creatures due to their rarity, so coming across this group must have felt like an incredible relief for Li. At the very least to know that they all didn’t die out just yet is a little comforting, but it’s suspected the population decline can be attributed to global warming. Even worse is that no official group or organisation have taken notice of the Pika’s plight.
Li hopes that with these photographs the notoriety of the Pika will increase and more activists will start to take notice. Li himself retired early to continue studying these furry little “rabbits”, so it’s understandable why he would want to save them. What do you say we help him out a bit and spread the Pika love?