Too Hot to Trot? Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change
“Too Hot to Trot? Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change”
Johanna Varner, Ph.D., Colorado Mesa University
American pikas are small mammals that typically live in rockslides and boulder fields at high elevations – you may have seen them hiking in the mountains around Aspen during the summer! These adorable animals are sometimes considered “canaries” in the “coal mine” of climate change because they are sensitive to warm temperatures and cannot disperse very far. But despite their reliance on cold climates, pikas are sometimes found in surprising places. Johanna Varner studies how these animals persist in these unusual habitats, with the goal of understanding how we can better manage and protect them. She will share some recent findings on how pikas can modify their behavior to accommodate some aspects of climate change and how Roaring Fork Valley residents can get involved in monitoring the pikas close to home.
Can’t make it to Hallam Lake on Thursday? You can also catch this presentation on Wednesday at 6PM at the Third Street Center in Carbondale.
What is Naturalist Nights?
Each winter, together with Wilderness Workshop and Roaring Fork Audubon, ACES invites regional experts to explore and share topics of the natural world through slideshows and discussion.
From January to March, this popular series takes place in Aspen at Hallam Lake every Thursday evening at 6PM, and every Wednesday at 6PM in Carbondale at the Third Street Center, providing an educational activity for visitors and locals alike. Tea, donated by Two Leaves Tea Company, and cookies donated by Paradise Bakery, Village Smithy, or Bonfire Coffee are offered.