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PROJECT UPDATE: INDEPENDENT VOLUNTEERS HAVE SPENT THE SUMMER PEAKING FOR PIKA

PROJECT UPDATE: INDEPENDENT VOLUNTEERS HAVE SPENT THE SUMMER PEAKING FOR PIKA

At the beginning of June, CFC hosted a virtual training session to teach volunteers how to survey for pika in the talus slope areas of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Pika survey efforts have been going on for years in the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Rainier, and other locations within the Cascades, but there’s a gap in pika population data in the Gifford Pinchot. 

 

Pika near Takh Takh Meadow by Susan Saul

 

Volunteers could go to sites where pika have previously been observed to conduct sitting surveys, or volunteers could send back reports if they happened to cross paths with a pika when out on a hike. Pika can be hard to spot as they are often well camouflaged by the rocks they inhabit, but wait long enough and they start to scurry around and make calls to the other pika nearby. So far this year, volunteers have conducted 30 sitting surveys and have had 34 opportunistic sightings.

 

Pika photographed at Goat Ridge Lookout by Jennifer Travers

 

These new pika sightings will allow us to have more sites to complete the sitting surveys next year. Most of our projects are not possible without the help of volunteers, and that is especially the case for the pika surveys. CFC sends a HUGE thank you to all the volunteers that have participated and are continuing to participate in the first year of these surveys! 

 

Pika photographed ay McClellan Viewpoint by Steider Studios

 

There’s still time to get involved! If you want to do a sitting survey, please contact amanda@cascadeforest.org so she can send you all the information you need to get started.

 

Pika photographed above Miller Creek by Mackenna Milosevich

 

If you’re ever out on a hike and come across a pika, feel free to share that information with us here.

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