Abstract The natural behavior of wildlife can be different when livestock are present. The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a burrowing lagomorph on the Tibetan Plateau that shares its habitat with livestock herded by pastoralists. I used focal animal sampling and Poisson regression to determine if the behavioral frequencies of free-ranging plateau pikas were affected by the presence of pastoralists and their yaks, as well as by land-use type. Results showed that frequencies of foraging and moving were the main behaviors of the plateau pikas. In yak foraging areas, pikas foraged more frequently than they were vigilant in winter with reversed pattern in summer; and this occurred in both pastoral and bedding areas for domestic herbivores. Behavior frequencies displayed by plateau pikas were likely affected by pasture land-use type and vegetation cover, as well as by seasonal changes. Seasonal livestock grazing management is preferable to permanent human settlements on the Tibetan Plateau in terms of local overgrazing.