Latest Pikas Stories
For the first time in over two decades, researchers have caught a glimpse at a tiny and elusive mountain-dwelling mammal known as the Ili pika, and after taking one look at the creature, it’s easy to see why: that much cute can only be handled in small doses.
In some mountain ranges, Earth's warming climate is driving rabbit relatives known as pikas to higher elevations or wiping them out. But University of Utah biologists discovered that roly-poly pikas living in rockslides near sea level in Oregon can survive hot weather by eating more moss than any other mammal.
Who would have thought that two very different species, a small insect and a furry alpine mammal, would develop a shared food arrangement in the far North?
University of Alberta researchers were certainly surprised when they discovered the unusual response of pikas to patches of vegetation that had previously been grazed on by caterpillars from a species normally found in the high Arctic.
Findings in contrast to recent study showing pika declines in the Great Basin.
Local extinction rates of American pikas have increased nearly five-fold in the last 10 years, and the rate at which the climate-sensitive species is moving up mountain slopes has increased 11-fold, since the 20th century, according to a study soon to be published in Global Change Biology.
New research addressing climate change questions, a priority focus of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, documents that American pika in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin are thriving and persist in a wider range of temperatures than previously discovered.
Although not ready for the endangered species list, the American pika will be watched closely by federal scientists who feel the warming climate trend in the West over the next few decades could potentially threaten the climate-sensitive mammal.
The first-ever study of its kind could help determine if the American pika is at risk of disappearing from western U.S.
A minute mammal that needs cold weather to survive may become the first animal in the lower 48 states to get Endangered Species Act protection specifically for the reason of the climate change.
The term pika is used to refer to small mammals in the Ochotonidae family, which holds one genus known as Ochotona. This genus holds thirty species, sometimes referred to as whistling hares, which can be found in cold areas of North America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Most of the species within this genus reside in rocky areas, although some can be found in steppe environments. Pikas reach an average body length between 5.9 and 9.1 inches, with a weight of up to twelve ounces. They prefer...
The Northern Pika, Ochotona hyperborea, is a species of pika found across northern Asia, from the Ural Mountains to northern Japan and south through Mongolia, Manchuria, and northern Korea. There are several subspecies of this pika. An adult Northern Pika has a body length of 5 to 7.33 inches, and a tail less than a half inch. The pika sheds its fur twice annually, bearing a reddish-brown coat in the summer and grayish-brown in the winter.
The American Pika (Ochotona princeps) is a diurnal(active during day and sleeps at night) species of pika. It is found in the mountains of western North America. They are usually in boulder fields at or above tree line. A recent news article suggests that species populations are declining due to various factors. They are very sensitive to high temperatures. Pikas are considered to be one of the best early warning systems for detecting global warming in the western United States.
- A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.