American Pika Are Thriving in the Sierra Nevada and Southwestern Great Basin

Questions remain unanswered

Pika © Ken Cole

With very few systematic surveys of pikas there is not much to compare the results of this most recent survey to.  The questions that still needs to be answered are what impact is climate change having on the survival of pikas in, especially, the isolated ranges of the pika’s range?  Are the pikas being squeezed out of lower elevation sites to cooler, higher elevation sites?

A trend cannot be determined from just one sample and this information should be considered a baseline.

In places where pikas are systematically surveyed they are disappearing like in the Bodie Hills of California.

American Pika Are Thriving in the Sierra Nevada and Southwestern Great Basin
ScienceDaily

Posted in Climate change, endangered species act. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on American Pika Are Thriving in the Sierra Nevada and Southwestern Great Basin

Pika decision could have far-reaching effects

Could be the first animal listed as threatened or endangered because of climate change

Pika © Ken Cole

Decision expected tomorrow.

Two previous stories on the pika listing process:

Formal Protection For Pika Due To Climate Change
May 7, 2009

U.S. agrees to consider protections for pikas
February 15, 2009

Pika decision could have far-reaching effects
By MIKE STARK – Associated Press Writer

Update 2/4/10: Federal agency denies protections for tiny pika

Formal Protection For Pika Due To Climate Change

Pikas are disappearing from the alpine areas of Great Basin and may be listed due to climate change.

Pika © Ken Cole

Pika © Ken Cole

People who frequent the alpine areas of Idaho may be familiar with these small relatives of rabbits. Pikas live in boulder fields where they harvest herbaceous plants and carry them into their dens. You can often hear them calling “eeeep” from these areas. They are very sensitive to high temperatures so, with global warming, their range is becoming more limited. The southern populations suffer from limited habitat which is shrinking due to warmer temperatures and there have been startling losses.

“An investigation in 2003 discovered that six of the 25 pika populations in the Great Basin had vanished, attributed to the effects of warming temperatures.”

Formal Protection For Pika Due To Climate Change
Red Orbit