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American pika are thriving in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin
Date:3/4/2010

Low elevation populations are usually in relatively warmer locations, so have been thought to be at risk due to rising 20th-21st century temperatures. Millar & Westfall found, however, that 12% of their occupied sites were lower in elevation than the historic (early 20th century) records indicate, revealing that pika live 500 meters (1640 feet) below what was previously known for this region.

Results of this study suggest that pikas in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin appear to be thriving and tolerating a wide range of thermal environments. This study also suggests a greater distribution in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin than has been found in other studies in these regions, and provides important baseline surveys that can be used in future pika ecology and population studies.


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Contact: Allison Kolbe
akolbe@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

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