Pikas Buried Under 15 Feet Of Snow Dying From The Heat

Study demonstrates clear connection between warming and rising extinction rates of the American pika for the first time, with implications for many species

By Katherine Bagley, SolveClimate News

Scientists have long understood that climate change has an effect on the numbers and distribution of animal species, but exactly how big an impact and why has remained largely speculative, until now.

New research shows that the American pika, the mountain-dwelling relative of the rabbit roughly half as big as a football, began rapidly fleeing lower elevations and dying off in the Great Basin region of the U.S. West a decade ago.


This is utter nonsense. I lived and worked as a wilderness ranger at 12,000 feet 30 years ago, and never saw a Pika below 11,000 feet. They never lived at lower elevations.

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14 Responses to Pikas Buried Under 15 Feet Of Snow Dying From The Heat

  1. Justa Joe says:

    Wow it’s amazing what one degree of warming can do. Particularly when that purported one degree of warming doesn’t actually manifest itself in any noticeable change in the weather.

  2. Latitude says:

    Exactly how fast is “rapidly fleeing” for a pika?

    Common sense tells me that when there’s a warm spell, they have plenty of time to move….

    This must be a ‘new’ colony of pika they are talking about in the Great Basin…
    …because, according to them, there’s no way any of them survived the dust bowl

  3. Dan says:

    How can you use your individual observations to discount as nonsense a comprehensive study of large areas over multiple time periods? I’ve seen pika below 10,000 feet. It entirely depends on the microclimate.

    • Have you seen any changes in Pika populations?

      • Al Gored says:

        It is possible that they will be very skinny this spring if they listened to the Team’s forecasts of endless summers, and failed to store enough food for this endless winter.

        Other pikas in denial are obviously developing mental problems, according to the latest research.

  4. Al Gored says:

    Well, just to be a total nitpicker the actual elevation they are at typically gets lower with latitude – no, not you Latitude, though I do detect some anti-pika tones in your comments.

    Further north timberline is lower and so are pikas. And all the ones I am familar with are the high elevation types so can’t say anything about populations are adapted to lower areas except to say if they are not dead there is something wrong with this theory.

    In the summer when these animals aren’t busy gathering ‘hay’ they seem to spend a lot of time sunning on rocks so heat doesn’t seem to be their biggest problem.

    This research is a product of the junk science they call Conservation Biology. Should be renamed ‘EPA Rewilding Science.’ Based on their track record there is likely something bogus about this historical comparison. Faking historical baselines is one of their standard tricks.

  5. NoMoreGore says:

    The Pika prefer to huddle in their snow caves during the warm months. They rest, and nibble on dead pine beetles. Pikas take a vow of nonviolence at their circumcision ceremony, so they never kill living beetles. In the heat of climate change, the beetles are living longer and meals of dead beetles are scarce for the beleaguered Pika. Ocasionally, they rush out, and quickly gather to hold Pika hands around Pika Stonehenge and pray for frost. A few collapse from heat exhaustion in the blistering 55F sun. The entire litter of helpless baby Pikas back in the snowcave then die a horrible death of starvation, and it’s all because of your SUV! The End.

  6. Andy Weiss says:

    Little sarcasm can be added to what has already been posted. The Pikas are much smarter than climate scientists and they will find a way to survive.

  7. Paul in Sweden says:

    Pika extinction due to Global Warming is not Junk Science, it is a Political Power Play.

    If the Pika can be listed as an endangered species due to CAGW, all sorts of development projects can be halted.

    Obama Admin Denies Endangered Species Listing for American Pika
    – NYTimes.com
    “The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups maintain that the Endangered Species Act compels the government to consider the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on protected species from proposed projects ranging from logging on public land to permitting of new power plants.

    President George W. Bush’s administration explicitly prohibited consideration of greenhouse gas emissions in federal project reviews when it listed the polar bear under the species law in 2008. And the Obama administration agreed with that approach last May, saying legislation is the appropriate vehicle for addressing climate change.

    “Listing the pika would have forced the Obama administration to take a hard look at climate change, and a very important part of that is bringing the Endangered Species Act tool kit to the fight against global warming,” Wolf said.

    “That was a fight in the Bush administration, and the Obama administration isn’t doing much better,” she said.”

    • Al Gored says:

      Paul in Sweden says:
      April 29, 2011 at 12:36 am

      “If the Pika can be listed as an endangered species due to CAGW, all sorts of development projects can be halted.”

      Exactly. That what the whole business is (almost) all about. That is why it is such junk science and yet it gets pushed.

      The other half of the story is that once a species or whatever they invent gets listed, it can be jobs for life for those ‘saving’ it. Often the same people who discover that it is ‘threatened’ or whatever then get the job!

      So easy. First you get your allies in some enviro group to ‘raise concerns’… then the ‘scientist’ confirms them (no matter what)… which gives their enviro allies fodder for fundraising… which then gets the ‘species’ listed and their friend their job for life… and then together they make sure that no matter what, the ‘saving’ never stops.

      The wolf story in Yellowstone was this scenario in spades. Briefly, when they first sold the idea the target was 10 wolf packs in three states… 30 packs, about 300 wolves. Recently been up to 3000 according to some sources and all this time the enviros have been suing, etc. because they now say that 3000 is not enough. Lies, moving goalpost, junk science… standard EPA procedure.

      • Al Gored says:

        Oh yes… The Center for Biological Diversity = Ground Zero for Big Lies. And it is basically a bunch of lawyers getting paid by your tax dollars!

      • rw says:

        This is called environmentalist ecology (alt. term, environomics). No end to the number of niches opening up with the rise of the new order.

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