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College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1138
Moscow, ID 83844-1138

Phone: 208-885-8981

Fax: 208-885-5534

Email: cnr@uidaho.edu

Web: College of Natural Resources

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Summer Explorer Series: Searching Peaks for Pika

Student Delves into Climate Change Effects on Pikas in Alaska

What can...

some of Alaska's smallest creatures tell us about climate change? We're eager to find out.

Tara Kriz spent the long Alaskan summer days traversing rockslides in search of the elusive pika, a relative of the rabbit — but with round mouse-shaped ears. Pika live among the rocks and spend the summer collecting and storing vegetation in their nests as a winter food source. Climate change has allowed grass to encroach onto these mountain tops, and Kriz, alongside Assistant Professor Sophie Gilbert, wants to know how pika are adapting to the changing environment. They tested which vegetation the animals preferred to collect and trapped the animals to estimate survival rates. Gilbert, who researches how animal behavior, populations and communities respond to environmental change, led the U of I team. Kriz lives in Boise and is majoring in wildlife resources in the College of Natural Resources.

Article by Leigh Cooper, University Communications and Marketing.

Photos courtesy of Tara Kriz and Sophie Gilbert, College of Natural Resources.

Video editing by Kara Billington, University Communications and Marketing.

Published September 2019.

This project was funded by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service award ADW-SWG T-32-2. The project is 65% federally funded.

Contact Us

College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1138
Moscow, ID 83844-1138

Phone: 208-885-8981

Fax: 208-885-5534

Email: cnr@uidaho.edu

Web: College of Natural Resources

Directions