Resources > Video: Too Hot to Trot? Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change

Too Hot to Trot? Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change

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.

Joanna Varner,

Assistant Professor, Colorado Mesa University

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