March 28, 2011
You may have heard a little pika calling at you from an alpine boulder-field, or you may have seen one scampering over the rocks with a mouthful of flowers. Sometimes called the “little chief hare,” this small member of the rabbit family is a vocal and bustling icon of alpine communities. It is also threatened by climate change.
Research Associate Christine Ray from CU-Boulder’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology will explore the nature and conservation status of pikas worldwide, with an emphasis on her research on the local species during her presentation, “Climate and the American Pika,” on Thursday, April 7.
The program is part of CU-Boulder’s “Learn More About Climate” initiative that brings climate change-related topics to communities across the state. LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu is an online tool that features five videos that localize climate change by pairing interviews with leading scientists and everyday Coloradans to explain how climate change is affecting our state. The site also offers resources for teachers, students, policy makers and community members who want to learn more about this critical issue.
Dr. Ray has studied pikas throughout the western US for more than 20 years and is the author of many scientific papers on threatened plants and animals. She has taught field studies centered on the pika almost every summer since 1989 and has been interviewed about the plight of the pika for national and international news broadcasts. Her knowledge of pika behavior helped the producers of David Attenborough’s “Life of Mammals” film a special sequence on pikas.
The April 7 program is co-sponsored by the CU-Boulder Office for University Outreach, Arkansas Valley Audubon Society, Pueblo Zoological Society, Pueblo City-County Library District and the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo. It will be held at 7 p.m. in the InfoZone at the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, 100 East Abriendo Ave., in Pueblo. Tickets or reservations are not required and the event is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact email@example.com.