Gonna Find Me Some Pikas!

I’ve been looking for a cause I am really excited to support and help create awareness for while I’m on the CDT this summer. I just stumbled across the perfect fit…

When I hit the trail I’ll be doing so as a data collector for the Worldwide Pika Project. I’ll be collecting data on the Pika and its habitat that will be used by scientists in their studies on climate change.

The Pika is the smallest member of the rabbit family, which is fitting because my nickname from my Dad is Rabbit. They are small mammals with round ears and no tails. These cute little guys live in cold climates and rocky locations.

My favorite thing about them is that if you get too close they let out a loud MEEEEEEEP sound and dive for cover under a rock pile. Makes me laugh every time.

I’ve shared the Pika’s habitat for many years at home at Snowbird and frequently on my adventures over the years in Nepal. He always brings a smile to my face. The problem for the Pika is that they are very sensitive to heat and can’t survive in warm temperatures. They are believed to be the first mammal to be affected by climate change in the ecosystem, a canary in the coal mine.

Working in the ski and outdoor industry, I come face-to-face with climate change challenges every day. I hope that in some small way I can contribute to helping develop our knowledge of the problem we are facing.

Specifically what I’ll be doing is collecting data about where Pika are located and information about their food caches, reproduction and other things. This will be combined with data collected by others and help to create a baseline on Pika habitat and behaviors. Scientists will use this data over time to draw conclusions about a range of things related to climate change.

No donations are being sought, but if you want to get involved you can sign up to do the same if you reside in or visit Pika habitat. It’s also a great excuse to take tons of photos of a really cute critter!


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