Denver, CO

Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild Continue to Educate on Wildlife and Climate Crisis

Marta De Leon

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Denver, CO – Climate change causes droughts, raising temperatures, changes the pattern of weather, and endanger wildlife such as American Pika, threatening its habitat. Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild gathered volunteers—from scientists to hikers and mountain—to studied and monitored the Alpine Critter.

The project is called Colorado Pika Project, a citizen science program dedicated to learning the effects of climate change on pika. This project provides useful data for scientists and land managers while engages and educates Coloradans citizens in a fun, adventurous way.

Around 25 volunteers joined this summer for training sessions to help monitor the activities and habitat of pika by scouring the Rocky Mountain of Colorado, learning and ensuring awareness of trajectory of pika in Colorado. After this session, volunteers will look and gather data about pika by themselves.

Pikas prime habitat is called talus, a patch of big, broken rocks. You can determine the presence of a pika by a sound of classic squeaky toy. They love the cold environment, and as the climate gets warmer, their habitat and interaction with other wildlife also changes. Other wildlife, such as rodent, might move to the territory and this puts pika at risk, even though pikas are not listed as an endangered species.

Volunteers will gather data suchs as the size of rocks pikas live between, the amountt of grass nearby, and other characteristics of each site. They submit the reports by the end of the summer. Scientists will use the data to determine what kind of environment pika can thrive and the overall meaning for the species.

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