American Pika in danger

July 23rd, 2009 | by Nick |

The American Pika (Ochotona princeps), a small relative of the rabbit, may become seriusly endangered because of global warming as rising eliminate Pikas from their alpine habitat. The US government may decide to afford them endangered status. Eco Worldly

A worrying number of populations of Pikas have already disappeared. They are now believed to be extinct in some areas of the Great Basin mountains of Nevada and Oregon, where more than a third of the American Pika population has been wiped out.

A 2003 study showed that 9 out of 25 sampled populations of American Pika had disappeared, causing biologists to conclude that the species is reaching extinction. Because they live in Alpine mountain regions, they are very sensitive to high temperatures, and are considered to be one of the best early warning systems for detecting global warming in the western United States. Because their regular habitat’s temperature rises, the American Pikas move higher up the mountain. Pikas can die within an hour if the outside temperature reaches above 23°C (75°F). Wikipedia (

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