20 Apr '11, 3pm

Populations of American pikas going extinct as climate warms, a new study says

20 Apr 2011: Populations of American Pikas Going Extinct As Climate Warms, Study Says Extinction rates of American pikas have increased nearly five-fold over the last decade within the Great Photo by Donald M. Jones/Minden Pictures An American pika Basin region of the western U.S., and the climate-sensitive species is moving to higher elevations at a rate 11 times faster than during the 20th century, according to a new study. Erik Beever of the U.S. Geological Survey says the dramatic shift likely demonstrates the increasingly critical role of climate in the local loss of the species, a small hamster-like creature that lives in cool, mountainous habitats. Using 110 years of data on pika distribution across the 150,000-square-mile region, researchers found that four of 10 local pika extinctions observed at 25 sites have occurred since 1999. During that period, pikas have mo...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/populations_of_american_pikas...

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