National Park Service

Upper Columbia Basin Network (UCBN)

Pika Monitoring

Training field crews to find evidence of American pika
Training field crews to find evidence of American pika

Pika Monitoring Resource Briefs

Pika Inventory Reports

Pika Monitoring Reports

Pika Monitoring Protocol & Procedures

For more information contact: Tom Rodhouse

Parks Monitored

UCBN Parks:

Klamath Network Parks:

  • Crater Lake National Park (CRLA)
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (LAVO)
  • Lava Beds National Monument (LABE)

Video: Pika Monitoring at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho

 

Importance / Issues

  • Localized extirpations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps) have been documented in isolated areas of the species range, and some scientists believe that these extirpations may be due to increased warming resulting from accelerated climate change.
  • Due to a high body temperature and low upper lethal temperature, pikas have difficulty thermoregulating and rely on crevices and cavities in rocks to provide cover and thermal refugia.
  • Climate change is predicted to result in high summer temperatures and reduced snowpack in many areas, both of which are expected to negatively impact pikas and their habitat.
  • Crater Lake NP and Lassen Volcanic NP contain typical pika habitat comprised of high elevation talus fields. Conversely, Craters of the Moon NM&P and Lava Beds NM have lower elevation lava flows that also provide pika with a unique habitat type.
  • The development of a long-term monitoring protocol is essential to enhance our understanding of pika distribution and long-term viability at these park sites.

Monitoring Objectives

  • Determine the status of pika site occupancy at selected Pacific West Region parks.
  • Determine the trend in pika site occupancy at selected Pacific West Region parks.

Video: Pikas Living on the Edge: Monitoring a Species Facing a Changing Climate

 

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Last Updated: November 13, 2014 Contact Webmaster