Sid Francis, who organises many Sichuan mammal trips, sent through this piece from Malcolm Peaker on the pikas at Baxi Forest near Ruoergai Town in Sichuan. I imagine some of you will have seen the same animals. I also imagine some of you will now how difficult it is to be confident about pika identification. Yikes.
The animals in this forest have (often) been previously IDd as Gansu Pikas. But Malcom’s phootographs and notes suggest they might be Thomas’s Pika.
But … not so fast. When I sent this to Andre Lissovsky (a pika specialist who’s work is referenced by Malcolm in the blog) he was almost sure they wouldn’t be Thomas’s Pikas given the forest habitat; noted that ID by photograph was all but impossible for some of these species; and thinks Gansu Pikas is still the most likely candidate … (see the comments in the blog).
So I am not sure we are any the wiser but it is an interesting conversation and maybe someone more expert than me (which isn’t hard to be as I know nothing!) has an opinion on it here?