© 2017 by Peter L. Erb.

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Are pikas disappearing from the Southern Rockies?

 

2008 – Liesl and her Colorado Parks & Wildlife collaborators visited 69 sites in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

  • All these sites had pikas before 1980, and their goal was to figure out how many sites still had them.

  • It turned out that 65 of these sites (94%) still had pikas. (See above map.) This was much better than the ~60%

  • occupancy found around the same time in the Great Basin, so the team was happy!

 

2011 – After analyzing the data from those 69 sites surveyed in 2008, some clear patterns emerged.

  • Water is key. Pikas had disappeared from 4 of the driest sites in Liesl’s study area.

  • At some sites with low precipitation (rain and snow), pikas were able to survive thanks

  • in part to sources of water under their rock habitats.

  • In general, sites with pikas were wetter and cooler than sites without pikas.

Pika Results