Pikas: My Favorite Alpine Critter May Soon Disappear!

Pikas: My Favorite Alpine Critter May Soon Disappear!

The look kind of like miniature rabbits, with rounded ears. They are secretive and skittish, so most hikers seldom see them. But when hiking the high country, around talus and scree fields, you'll likely hear them. "EEEeey" "EEEeeey" The high pitched calls are unmistakable.  The American alpine pika lives in the rocky rubble high in the western mountains, including the Cascades. The are perfectly adapted to this rugged terrain and the tough conditions above treeline. In fact, they are so well adapted to this environment, they likely won't be able to survive if their local climate changes too drastically. That is the basis for a new push to protect these incredible critters.  Conservation groups filed two lawsuits today seeking protection of the American pika, whose survival is imperiled by global warming. The groups went to state court seeking protection of the pika under the California Endangered Species Act and to a federal court seeking protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Rising temperatures caused by greenhouse gas pollution have already led to dramatic losses of lower-elevation pika populations. More than a third of documented pika populations in the Great Basin mountains of Nevada and Oregon have gone extinct in the past century as temperatures warm, and those that remain are found an average of 900 feet further upslope. According to climate experts, temperatures in the western United States in this century will increase at least twice as much as they did in the past century. This could eliminate the pika from large regions of the American West. Read more at the link below. American Pikas Hate Global Warming.
%d bloggers like this: