Title

American Pikas and Climate Change: Occupancy and Temperature along an Elevational Gradient in the Eastern Cascade Range

Document Type

Poster

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

American Pikas (Ochotona princeps) have a narrow range of temperature tolerance and are a climatesensitive species. The primary goal of this project was to investigate whether environmental temperatures are associated with pika presence at rocky habitat sites along two elevational gradients on the eastern slope of the Cascade Range in Kittitas Co., Washington. We selected three sites along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and four in Manastash Canyon. Paired data loggers at each site recorded surface and subsurface (60 cm deep) temperatures every 15 minutes from late summer through early fall. We conducted pika occupancy (presence) surveys during October 2019. Surveys included focal (visual and auditory) and walking observations (search for haypiles and latrines). Generalized linear models (GLM) were used to model the probability of pika presence as a function of various derived temperature measures. Over the duration of the study, subsurface temperatures at all sites did not rise above 25.5°C, pikas’ critical upper temperature. GLMs suggested that both surface-level mean maximum temperature and number of hours above 25.5°C reasonably predicted pika occupancy. Contrary to our expectations, sites with higher temperatures were more likely to be occupied than sites with lower values for both models. Other studies suggest that snowpack and winter temperatures may be more important determinants of pika presence than are summer temperatures. Our small sample size prohibits generalization about summer temperatures, but the results suggest that further research is needed to explore the impacts of temperature on pika occupancy at low-elevation sites.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kristina Ernest

Department/Program

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

https://cwu.studentopportunitycenter.com/2020/04/american-pikas-and-climate-change-occupancy-and-temperature-along-an-elevational-gradient-in-the-eastern-cascade-range/

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May 18th, 12:00 PM

American Pikas and Climate Change: Occupancy and Temperature along an Elevational Gradient in the Eastern Cascade Range

Ellensburg

American Pikas (Ochotona princeps) have a narrow range of temperature tolerance and are a climatesensitive species. The primary goal of this project was to investigate whether environmental temperatures are associated with pika presence at rocky habitat sites along two elevational gradients on the eastern slope of the Cascade Range in Kittitas Co., Washington. We selected three sites along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and four in Manastash Canyon. Paired data loggers at each site recorded surface and subsurface (60 cm deep) temperatures every 15 minutes from late summer through early fall. We conducted pika occupancy (presence) surveys during October 2019. Surveys included focal (visual and auditory) and walking observations (search for haypiles and latrines). Generalized linear models (GLM) were used to model the probability of pika presence as a function of various derived temperature measures. Over the duration of the study, subsurface temperatures at all sites did not rise above 25.5°C, pikas’ critical upper temperature. GLMs suggested that both surface-level mean maximum temperature and number of hours above 25.5°C reasonably predicted pika occupancy. Contrary to our expectations, sites with higher temperatures were more likely to be occupied than sites with lower values for both models. Other studies suggest that snowpack and winter temperatures may be more important determinants of pika presence than are summer temperatures. Our small sample size prohibits generalization about summer temperatures, but the results suggest that further research is needed to explore the impacts of temperature on pika occupancy at low-elevation sites.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/COTS/27