Hikers are needed to collect data to help scientists understand the potential impacts of climate change on the American pika and their alpine habitat. Hikers who spot pikas are often charmed by these cute relatives of rabbits and hares. Recent disappearance of pikas from parts of the western U.S. has been linked to changes in temperature, snowpack and vegetation. The Front Range Pika Project (FRPP), the Forest Service, and local partners are seeking volunteers to do American pika surveys on the White River National Forest this summer.
“Pikas are a focal species for the White River National Forest,” said Jennifer Prusse, District Wildlife Biologist with the Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District. “Studying pikas gives the Forest Service a deeper understanding of the health of alpine ecosystems. This citizen science initiative will help the Forest do large-scale monitoring and inform management.”