The Issue: American Pika Faces Threats to Its Existence
The american pika is a small, cold-loving, furred mammal that is native to the high-elevation alpine environments of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. According to the World Wildlife Fund, a warming climate and lack of conservation efforts threaten the narrow environmental conditions in which the american pika thrives. As the weather shifts, pikas face shortened periods for food collection, changes in available vegetation, and more extreme temperature fluctuations that make its accustomed home unlivable. In order to establish conservation activities for the american pika, organizations need a better understanding of the species’ population numbers and range, vulnerabilities, habitat status, and trends.
The Campaign: Train Volunteers to Collect Pika Survey Data
If this Grassroots campaign raises $400, then Rocky Mountain Wild can train and equip two volunteer scientists to collect survey data on the american pika as part of the Front Range Pika Project. Each additional $200 raised will help train and equip another volunteer scientist for the Front Range Pika Project. Small groups of volunteers will hike into the Colorado high country to collect data on pika distribution, which will be added to public databases. Pika researchers can then use that data and the maps generated from the surveys to analyze species-wide trends and devise long-term protection and conservation strategies.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Rocky Mountain Wild
Rocky Mountain Wild works to protect the more than 180 species of plants and animals that are endemic to the Southern Rocky Mountains. The organization conserves forest, alpine, and desert habitats that contain these diverse species and aims to restore the ancient migration corridors that link their habitats. Its team of biologists, geographers, and policy experts also advocates for ecologically responsible skiing and strives to amplify the environmental conversation occurring nationwide and develop solutions that help wildlife thrive despite warming habitats.
Current projects focus on protecting a variety of Rocky Mountain species including the northern leopard frog, the burrowing owl, the narrowleaf evening primrose, and the gray wolf, which is currently listed as extinct in the Southern Rockies. The team gathers knowledge about these species’ statuses with motion-detection cameras and conservation mapping, and then lobbies for policies that protect ancient wilderness areas and reform climate-change and energy policies.