Pika Watch!

Did you know that there are Pikas in the Gorge?  The furry little cousin of the rabbit that you typically see at high elevation is a neighbor of ours on talus slopes in the heart of the Gorge.  Extinction rates of American pikas in other localized areas have increased nearly five-fold in the last 10 years, and the rate at which the climate-sensitive species is moving up mountain slopes has increased 11-fold since the 20th century, according to a study published in Global Change Biology.

So what can our Pikas tell us?  Surely its something more than their high pitched squeak.  Keep an eye out for an opportunity coming up this summer to learn how YOU can be involved with monitoring Gorge Pika populations through a pilot program being developed together with the Oregon Zoo and regional partners and researchers.  For now, take a look at this video on Pikas.

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2 Responses to “Pika Watch!”
  1. Joshua says:

    Good day,
    I just thought you may like to know that I witnessed two pikas while on an early morning hike today. I was walking past those moss covered talus slopes I believe on Trail 400 off of the junction of Switchback #3 near Multnomah Falls. I only saw them for a couple of seconds, but they were magnificent. One had very dark coloration, almost black.

    • gorgeecology says:

      That’s awesome Joshua! We’re looking forward to getting a volunteer training going on helping to monitor Pika populations in the near future. They are definitely an interesting and unique animal. Thanks for the sighting report…and let us know if you ever have any other interesting sightings…Pika, other wildlife, unique plants, or beautiful places here in the Gorge!

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