Pika Project

Hiking in the mountains? Snap a photo of a pika to participate as a citizen scientist in ASC’s Pike Project!

Why Pika? Pikas are indicators of environmental change because they require temperatures cooler than 78˚ Fahrenheit to survive. Tracking pikas’ locations can help inform trends of changing climate and weather patterns in the Rocky Mountains. Changes to pika habitat are magnified because they are considered a keystone species. For example, many species depend on the pika as a food source, including weasel, hawk, eagle and fox.

About Pika: Closely related to hares and rabbits, pikas (Ochotona princeps) live in rocky terrain at high elevations where the temperature is cold year-round. Pikas’ efficient heating system, while necessary for winter survival, would cause them to overheat in hot summer temperatures at lower elevations. A pika can actually die from exposure to temperatures higher than 78 degrees! Listen for the high-pitched chirp of pika as you hike the high country of Colorado.

How to participate

  1. Take a picture of a pika
  2. Email your picture to pika@aspennature.org, with the location and date of photo (GPS tagged if possible)
  3. ACES will upload the photos to the ASC PikaProject website

Questions? Email Jim Kravitz at jkravitz@aspennature.org or call 970-925-5756.