Title

From Dawn to Dusk: A Behavior Study of the American Pika

Abstract

As global and regional climates warm, heat-sensitive species might shift certain behaviors to cooler times of day. The American pika is a small, alpine mammal that sheds heat by finding cool microclimates within its rocky, mountainous habitat. Already flagged as a sentinel species for climate change, pikas might also be a good model for studying temporal shifts in behavior as a response to increased heat stress. My presentation focuses on observations conducted at two sites in the Colorado Front Range during July-August 2016. I found that pika behavior was the same at dawn and dusk, even though both sites are significantly cooler at dawn. This data is consistent with previous midday behavioral observations and suggests a consistency in pika surface activity from dawn through dusk.

Faculty Sponsor

Susanne Altermann

Tracks

Animal Behavior

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

National Science Foundation, Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Site

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Apr 11th, 9:00 AM Apr 11th, 9:15 AM

From Dawn to Dusk: A Behavior Study of the American Pika

Science 100

As global and regional climates warm, heat-sensitive species might shift certain behaviors to cooler times of day. The American pika is a small, alpine mammal that sheds heat by finding cool microclimates within its rocky, mountainous habitat. Already flagged as a sentinel species for climate change, pikas might also be a good model for studying temporal shifts in behavior as a response to increased heat stress. My presentation focuses on observations conducted at two sites in the Colorado Front Range during July-August 2016. I found that pika behavior was the same at dawn and dusk, even though both sites are significantly cooler at dawn. This data is consistent with previous midday behavioral observations and suggests a consistency in pika surface activity from dawn through dusk.

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