Up Up and Away
By J. Madeleine Nash
April-June 2010 (Vol. 11, No. 2)
- How might mountains differ from other habitats in terms of serving as a refuge during major changes in climate?
- How might body size or ability to migrate affect an animal or plant’s ability to adapt in montane environments?
- To what extent do you imagine the rocky corridors that Millar suggests as a conservation strategy might work for pikas? What are some reasons why they might be successful? Not successful?
- What do you imagine are the main reasons behind the pika population crashes in the Ruby Range? What conservation strategies might minimize these crashes?
- Why should we be concerned about individual species loss when systems adjust and some species will “win” and others will “lose”?
- Why is the pika a poster child for the impact of climate change on biodiversity?
- Why was the American pika not listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2010 (see below for readings)?
Websites for Further Information
- American pika general information: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ochotona_princeps.html
- USFWS description of American pika: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/americanpika/
Pikas in the News
- Pika won’t be protected species: federal review finds warming not a dire threat (MSNBC, February 4, 2010): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35243707/ns/us_news-environment/
- Does rabbit relative need help in warmer West? (MSNBC, April 9, 2009): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30072302/
- Want a climate change pin-up? Pika cute one with big eyes (The Guardian, April 7, 2009): http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/apr/07/pika-climate-change-endangered
- USFWS news release: Endangered Species Act protection for the American pika is not warranted (USFWS, February 5, 2010): http://www.fws.gov/news/newsreleases/showNews.cfm?newsId=9ED1C504-E57E-3694-99BB229A32914B37
- Climate change
- Montane habitats
- Pika conservation
- Complex interactions
- Endangered Species Act