The study says that a specific species is recovering in climate change

American Pika (Ochotona prince) Is traditionally thought of as a canary in a coal mine when it comes to rising US temperatures.

These adorable craters can warm to high temperatures, making their homes high in the cold mountainous regions of western North America – making them incredibly sensitive to climate change.

Or at least that’s what we thought.

Conservationist Andrew T. A new literature review by Smith says otherwise – that Piqua is doing remarkably well, given the circumstances.

“These results suggest that Picas are able to tolerate a wider set of previously understood housing conditions,” Smith explains.

American pikas are small, territorial, rabbit-like creatures that spend their days eating grass and churren, storing food for the winter, sarcasm at predators, and singing songs to potential mates.

They live in the mountains of western North America – from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to New Mexico and California.

They make their homes in the talon fields of the mountains – a landscape of broken boulders and boulders, where they build nests under rocks that keep them cool under warm conditions, and protect them from predators such as eagles, eagles and foxes Huh.

To maintain their climate-controlled nests, scientists think they can slowly move up the mountain to cool conditions as the climate is warmer on the year, but only so many mountains before reaching a dead end To climb.

They cannot go to the mountains when the temperature gets too hot – they get stuck on these sky islands.

Before we talk about the research itself, it is important to note that this study is a literature review – meaning that no new information has been found.

Instead, a literature review is a type of scientific paper that reviews current research and knowledge on a topic.

But placing individual studies in a broader context can reveal trends and inconsistencies that might otherwise be missed, and Smith believes American Piqua is a lot better than we think.

“A lot of narratives about climate change and climate change are based on the study of a limited and marginal part of their geographical range,” they write in the paper.

“But because Pixa’s responses to their environment can vary greatly across their broad geographic range, care must be taken when generalizing from one area to another.”

He points to a large range-wide survey conducted by his team in 2018, where 40 mountain ranges have occupied (or extinct), recently vacated (evacuated) or long vacant (old-sign) pica sites. K 3,250 records were compiled and analyzed.

“A large number of pica, extinct, and old-fashioned sites across the Great Basin documented by Miller and othersThe paper facilities allowed a strong assessment of how pica occupancy may have been affected, ”he writes in the paper.

“While there were differences in climatic values ​​across the six subparts of the Great Basin, the model for all prevalent sites expanded the range of both temperature and precipitation values ​​with most other regions in the species category.”

Smith noted that there are areas where American pikas are not doing so well – low-altitudes that are also isolated along the edges of their range. He thinks that this is at least partly due to the spread, or spread, of the species.

Smaller, isolated areas have fewer resources – including rock shelters – that are available for exploration of their own nests, especially in warmer low altitude areas. Researchers have observed the loss of local pica populations under these conditions.

“Because of the relatively poor ability to spread between areas, those habitats are unlikely to be rebuilt, especially in light of our warming climate,” Smith said in a press release.

“Despite the general health of pikas across their range, these losses represent a wayward road leading to a gradual loss of some pika populations.”

However, Smith’s review highlighted the importance of understanding how a species is appropriate throughout its range before concluding.

This does not clearly mean that climate change is not a huge problem – especially for alpine species trapped on the sky islands – and we need to deal with it right now (or tomorrow).

But it is nice to know that the small American pikea may have more chance than he thought.

Has been published in Mamalagoi’s magazine.


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