Meet the American pika!
This small, fuzzy mammal lives in alpine and subalpine areas extending south from central British Columbia and Alberta into the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
The American pika with flowers. (Photo: Steve Torbit/Rocky Mountain National Park)
The American pika is very sensitive to temperature changes; death can occur after brief exposures to ambient temperatures greater than 77.9 °F.
Concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on pike population, we conducted a risk-assessment back in 2010 to see if these mini mammals should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. After working in conjunction with NOAA, we determined the pika does not need to be listed at this time.
Pikas breed in March or April and have a litter of three or four young after a gestation period of about 30 days. Some females have a second litter. Their maximum life span is around seven years.