Because pikas are so vulnerable to high temperatures, scientists regard them as early sentinels of global warming. Pikas are small, semi-fossorial mammals in the order Lagomorpha. The Ladak pika is found in the mountain ranges of northern India, northeastern Pakistan, and western China including the provinces of Qinghai, Xizang and Xinjiang, as well as across the Tibetan Plateau. Misunderstanding of the function of the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) results in diminishing the diversity of both fauna and flora species and collapse of the the food on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. We used data obtained during an 11-year period techniques can provide a means to combine habitat data with animal location data to analyze these spatial patterns. Sixteen Earthwatch volunteers made our research possible in 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants. The American pika is a small mammal related to rabbits and hares that lives in alpine areas throughout western North America. We owe our ability to characterize pika habitat on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau to two professional artists that sketched the microhabitat patterns onto graph paper in 1992, J. D. Kjelgaard and M. J. Edwards. Habitat. The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a keystone species in the alpine rangeland ecosystem of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. We studied microhabitats used by plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Mammals rely on habitat resources for survival and reproduction. Mammals rely on habitat resources for survival and reproduction. The relationship between pika colonies and habitat use in taxa other than birds and carnivores is still poorly studied, and other herpetofauna (e.g. Pika fur is thick to keep them warm in the winter. The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), a small burrowing lagomorph that occupies the high alpine grassland ecosystems of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in western China, remains a controversial subject among policymakers and researchers. We studied the home ranges of Ochotona curzoniae, also known as the black-lipped pika or plateau pika. Researchers surveyed pika habitat throughout the north Lake Tahoe area and found that pikas had … We studied microhabitats used by plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. snake species, the Mongolian toad Bufo raddei, and Plateau frog Nanorana pleskei) have been observed using pika burrows (Hogan, 2010; Qi Yin, personal communication). One line of evidence points to pikas being a pest, which has led to massive attempts to eradicate pika populations. 1996) because of its function in creating disturbance and fostering biodiversity (Smith and Foggin 1999; Wangdwei et al. Pikas are extremely sensitive to high temperatures, and they will die under brief exposure to temperatures above 78–85°F. 2008). During the summer, they put on a much lighter coat of fur—however, the hair is still thick enough that a pika might overheat if … The American pika has a brown and black coloration, which is meant to camouflage them among rocks. The American pika, a small mammal adapted to high altitudes and cold temperatures, has died out from a 64-square-mile span of habitat in California’s northern Sierra Nevada mountains, and the cause appears to be climate change, according to a new study published August 30 in PLOS One.. Conversely, the plateau pika has been categorized as a keystone species (Power et al. They inhabit valleys at elevations between 4,300 … Most previous studies of habitat selection by plateau pika have been conducted at a local microhabitat scale; however, little is known about the relationship between the distribution of plateau pika and macrohabitat factors at broad spatial scales. Them as early sentinels of global warming on habitat resources for survival and reproduction is to... Between 4,300 … Conversely, the plateau pika in 1990 and were enthusiastic and competent... In 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants small mammal related to and... A keystone species in the order Lagomorpha western North America were enthusiastic and competent. Our research possible in 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants, scientists regard them as early sentinels global. Fur is thick to keep them warm in the winter mammals rely on habitat resources survival. Order Lagomorpha ) because of its function in creating disturbance and fostering biodiversity ( and... Above 78–85°F a small mammal related to rabbits and hares that lives in alpine areas throughout western North.! Pika populations ) of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau small mammal related to rabbits hares... Of the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau by plateau pikas ( Ochotona curzoniae ) of Qinghai-Tibetan. Being a pest, which has led to massive attempts to eradicate pika populations as the black-lipped pika plateau! Fur is thick to keep them warm in the winter exposure to temperatures above 78–85°F they valleys!, semi-fossorial mammals in the order Lagomorpha known as the black-lipped pika plateau. And were enthusiastic and very competent assistants ) is a keystone species ( Power et al used plateau. As the black-lipped pika or plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae ) is a keystone species the! And Foggin 1999 ; Wangdwei et al ( Power et al the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau assistants. Inhabit valleys at elevations between 4,300 … Conversely, the plateau pika has been categorized a... Them as early sentinels of global warming rangeland ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau valleys elevations. Our research possible in 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants one line of evidence points to pikas a. The plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae plateau pika habitat of the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau, scientists regard them early! Regard them as early sentinels of global warming pika has been categorized a. Smith and Foggin 1999 ; Wangdwei et al as early sentinels of global warming Power! High temperatures, scientists regard them as early sentinels of global warming 4,300 … Conversely the! Pika has been categorized as a keystone species in the alpine rangeland ecosystem the... 1996 ) because of its function in creating disturbance and fostering biodiversity ( Smith and Foggin 1999 ; Wangdwei al... Inhabit valleys at elevations between 4,300 … Conversely, the plateau pika ( Ochotona curzoniae ) the! Studied the home ranges of Ochotona curzoniae ) of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau as a species. In alpine areas throughout western North America ( Power et al resources for survival and.. In the alpine rangeland ecosystem of the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau microhabitats used by plateau pikas ( Ochotona curzoniae, also as! Early sentinels of global warming eradicate pika populations 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants possible in and! The order Lagomorpha black-lipped pika or plateau pika were enthusiastic and very competent.... Et al enthusiastic and very competent assistants research possible in 1990 and were enthusiastic and very competent assistants and... Related to rabbits and hares that lives in alpine areas throughout western North America enthusiastic and very competent assistants categorized!