Scope of the Mount Shasta Pika Project


I started this project in 2001 with the idea that I would just see if I could find any pikas on Mt. Shasta, it slowly turned into a more ambitious adventure.

During the last decade, Pikas became national news as apparently dwindling populations were feared to be losing ground to increasing global temperatures. Recognizing the significance of having 100-year old records to compare with, I decided that I should turn my avocation with pikas into a more disciplined and thorough research program.  I began recording my hikes and the pika populations with GPS data and plotting their distribution on digital maps.

I am attempting to survey all the reasonably probable talus slopes between ~7,500' to 9,500' (ie. timberline) on Mt. Shasta for the presence of pikas. This typically entails spending a night camped near enough to the slopes to hear any pika activity and then confirming with visual contact. As of September, 2011, I have explored virturally all of the terrain between ~7,500-9,500' around Mount Shasta. 32 slides of rocks have been observed to be habitats for Ochotona. The distribution is presented in the Results section and discussed in the Discussion section.

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