Oh noes! Now its global warming killing Pikas

An American pika feeding on grass in the Canadian Rocky Mountains Image: Wikipedia

Only one small problem with this press release below.

From Wikipedia:

In 2010, the US government considered, then decided not to add the American pika under the US Endangered Species Act;in the IUCN Red List it is still considered a Species of Least Concern Link here

But, don’t let that stop anyone from claiming extinctions.

From this article on MNN:…

…the pikas’ preference for elevated cold-weather habitats has persisted for 15 million years.

I wonder how these little guys survived the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period….and 1934…and… How can they do that? Hmmm maybe they… adapt? I’ve seen them in the California lava beds, mentioned below in this contradictory Wikipedia paragraph:

Pikas can die in six hours when exposed to temperatures above 25.5°C (77.9°F) if individuals cannot find refuge from heat. In warmer environments, such as during midday sun and at lower elevation limits, pikas typically become inactive and withdraw into cooler talus openings.[13] Because of behavioral adaptation, American pikas also persist in the hot climates of Craters of the Moon and Lava Beds National Monuments (Idaho and California, respectively). Average and extreme maximum surface temperatures in August at these sites are 32°C (90°F) and 38°C (100°F), respectively [14]

Another factor, from answers.com “What are the pika’s predators?”

Some of the Pika’s predators are: bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, foxes, and weasel’s.

Hmmm. I hear the American Eagle is making a big comeback. The Bobcats seem to have rebounded well, coyotes are on the increase, despite control efforts, foxes are making a comeback after a poison was banned, at least in Wyoming. Nah, couldn’t be any of that, it must be global warming.

Look for a “save the cute little Pika from the global warming” campaign soon. Here’s the press release:

Contemporary climate change alters the pace and drivers of extinction

Local extinction rates of American pikas have increased nearly five-fold in the last 10 years, and the rate at which the climate-sensitive species is moving up mountain slopes has increased 11-fold, since the 20th century, according to a study soon to be published in Global Change Biology.

The research strongly suggests that the American pika’s distribution throughout the Great Basin is changing at an increasingly rapid rate. The pika (Ochotona princeps), a small, hamster-looking animal sensitive to climate, occurs commonly in rocky talus slopes and lava flows throughout the western U.S. The study demonstrates a dramatic shift in the range of this rabbit relative, and illustrates the increasingly important role of climate in the loss of local pika populations across the nearly 150,000 square miles of the hydrological Great Basin.

The authors investigated data across 110 years on pika distribution and 62 years of data on regional climate to first describe the patterns of local pika loss, and then examined strength of evidence for multiple competing hypotheses to explain why the losses are occurring. They found that among 25 sites in the Basin with 20th-century records of pikas, a species dependent on cool, high-mountain habitats, nearly half (four of ten) of the local pika extinctions have occurred after 1999. In addition, since 1999 the animals are moving up mountain slopes at an average (Basin-wide) rate of about 145 m (475 feet) per decade, as compared with an estimated Basin-wide average of about 13 m per decade during the 20th century. In contrast, a recent (2003) review found that worldwide, species demonstrating distributional shifts averaged upslope movement of 6.1 m per decade. The species does not seem to be losing ground everywhere across its geographic range, but at least in the Great Basin, it may be one of a group of species that can act as ‘early-warning’ indicators of how distributions of species may shift in the future.

The study’s most novel scientific contribution was that the factors apparently driving the local-extinction process were strongly different during the 20th Century than during 1999-2008. This may mean that knowledge of past population dynamics of a particular species may not always help researchers predict how and why distributions change in the future. That is, the rules of the ‘extinction game’ seem to be shifting. This study was distinctive in that it relied upon fieldwork across an entire region rather than at just a few sites; had temperature data from the talus spaces that were previously or currently occupied by pikas (rather than simply estimated temperatures from weather recorders far from the study sites); and had three periods of data collection, which allowed for comparison of dynamics during the two intervening periods. Unlike most other mammals that have attracted management and conservation attention in the past, pikas are not widely hunted, don’t require large areas of habitat for their individual home ranges, and live in remote high-elevation areas that experience a smaller array of land uses than that experienced by other species. Additionally, with a few localized exceptions, these pika losses have occurred without significant change in the amount or geographic arrangement of their rocky talus habitat. Habitat loss or degradation has typically been the most common cause of species decline, not only in mammals, but also among all animals. In addition to being sentinels, pikas are important because they are food for an array of animals, and as the ‘ecosystem engineers’ that they are, their presence affects the local plant composition and nutrient distributions.

###

Global Change Biology exists to promote understanding of the interface between all aspects of current environmental change and biological systems, including rising tropospheric O3 and CO2 concentrations, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and eutrophication. For more information please visit www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/gcb and twitter.com/GCBiology

===============================================================

The full paper is available online here at HTML and as PDF

Interestingly, the word predator only occurs once, in this sentence:

The species also serves as prey for an array of aerial and terrestrial predators (Smith & Weston, 1990), whose nutritional and foraging ecologies may be affected by local losses of O. princeps.

The word predation appears once also, in the Conclusions section:

The greatest progress in illuminating mechanisms of climate acting on species will be achieved by investigations that satisfy not only a–e above, but also that investigate physiology of affected individuals (Reeder & Kramer, 2005), in-depth demography (Réale et al., 2003), and synecological relationships such as disease, predation pressure, and competition from other species that may also be undergoing changes in abundance or distribution in response to climate change (LaVal, 2004; Pounds et al., 2006).

And right after that, comes this:

Given the immediacy and pervasiveness of climate-change effects on biotas and the new rule-sets governing distributional change that contemporary climate change has wrought, investigators and policy-makers may be forced to use ‘shortcuts’ for prioritizing actions.

Well gosh, there’s no point in looking at any other variables, like maybe increased predation, it’s a given that climate-change is the cause of the “Pika tragedy”. They apparently don’t need to prove such a well known thing, let’s go straight to the shortcuts!

I’m reminded of the global warming is killing the frogs story that turned out to be bogus, and the toads too.

Like the frogs did, Pikas also get that silly “canary in the coal mine” label, which is almost a sure sign they have it wrong.

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66 thoughts on “Oh noes! Now its global warming killing Pikas

  1. This is obviously an attempt by alarmists to drum up support with the Pokemon generation.

    Pikachu, I choose you to fight global warming!!!

  2. I will grant that all of those animals ARE making comebacks, but that is because of conservation efforts.

  3. Every sentence in the Press Release contains at least one factual error. You would think that would set some sort of disingenuity record, but it happens all the time with those folks.

  4. What people have to understand about global warming is the the effects of CO2 OVERRIDE EVERY NORMAL REAL FACTOR, regardless of the alarmist fantasy being discussed. People just have to learn to accept this completely rational opinion, no matter how little sense it makes.

    If a pika gets run over crossing the road? ‘Must be global warming.

    “Why did the pika cross the road?”
    “It was trying to escape (North) from global warming.”

    No problem.

  5. Resisting the temptation to say “Taste like chicken.” Probably more like rabbit, though.

    Climate sensitive, but surviving in +100° temperatures tends to undercut the thrust of the story.

    I don’t know that the eagles were ever as endangered as purported. There were never that many to start with, and if you looked where they hung out, you could always find a few. Wintertime when the creeks froze, they migrated in to the Mississippi valley, congregating where they had open water to fish. That was generally around the sewage lift stations and the nuclear power plant cooling outflows into the river.

  6. This Pikas extinction video from 12-30-09 is a classic garbage news report, care of ABC News. The animation about a minute in is one of the dumbest I’ve seen:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video/pikas-tiny-cute-close-extinction-9448648

    Though the animation 3 minutes into this one from ABC News is probably dumber:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video/hero-scientist-titanic-earth-sink-global-warming-hope-save-control-climate-science-stephen-schnieder-11360895

  7. “Local extinction” — almost an oxymoron. Every range shift can involve a local extinction.

    If there are two people in a room, and both leave, they are locally extinct!

  8. Is extinction the term we should be using for migration, die back and relocation?

    The roses were fine last summer but they seem to have been made extinct by the early frost. They were also made extinct a few years ago and it looked like a disaster but we were able to de-extinct them with cuttings from the neighbors.

    Mice come into the house each fall but usually before December the cat makes then all extinct. The rate of this annual extinction has increased 200% in the last few years with the addition of two new cats.

    Canadians often travel to Florida in the winter but are usually extinct by the next summer; the rate of this extinction seems to be rising every year.

    The genocidal extinction of the mosquitoes in the bug zapper is a disaster that is ultimately caused by the generation of nuclear power, here nuclear power is killing more life forms then Chernobyl.

    I guess extinction will thus join war, disaster, massacre and genocide as washed out words in the MSM.

  9. Indur M. Goklany says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    “Local extinction” — almost an oxymoron. Every range shift can involve a local extinction.”

    It is worse than that. The correct term for this is ‘extirpation.’ Period. But a few decades back the so-called ‘scientists’ working as ‘Conservation Biologists” started to use the term ‘local extinction’ or even just ‘extinction’… and I am absolutely convinced that they did this because extinction sounds scarier.

    For example, a while back Canda’s most prominent Green Pinnochio David Suzuki was talking about the Spotted Owl in British Columbia… where there is a tiny sliver of the northern edge of its habitat and range in the extreme SW corner of that province.

    If it did disappear from there it would be extirpated from an area defined only by political boundaries (another trick they use but that is another whole story).

    That would be bad, but if it did happen they could easily restock them from the huge population just south of that political line.

    But no. Suzuki was screaming that they faced ‘extinction.’ And he confirmed that he knew he was lying when he added that ‘extinction means forever.’ Clearly he was using that word deliberately to mislead and scare people.

    Extirpation is not forever. Once upon a time the black bear was extirpated from New Jersey. Not make enough sense? OK. Once upon a time Rocky Mountain elk were extirpated from almost everywhere in North America except Yellowstone Park.

    White-tailed deer were extirpated from most of their range. Etc., etc.

    As I have said here too many times already, the new pseudoscience called ‘Conservation Biology’ – the ‘science behind the whole ‘species at risk’ listing racket – is AT LEAST as bad and corrupt as ‘AGW climatology.’

    P.S. Once a species, or a real or invented ‘subspecies’ or ‘distinct geographical population’ gets listed, somebody – often the same ‘expert’ who ‘determined’ that it needed to be listed – gets jobs for life and leverage over land use decisions.

    How do you spell ‘conflict of interest’ or ‘incentive to lie’?

  10. David Falkner says: April 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    “I will grant that all of those animals ARE making comebacks, but that is because of conservation efforts.”

    Conservation does not require effort, it requires exactly the opposite, doing nothing and letting nature be nature.

  11. Lefty Co-worker about the range of Wolverines in the Washington Cascades: “I read (in the Oregonian) that the Wolverines are moving north! DO you care! huh?” I said: “One there are very likely not moving.” “In fact they appear according to the NWS, moving south out of the Cascades.” “SEE! they are struggling!”
    If he ever adds”Sayeth the Profit!” I’m gonna smack him…
    Wonder if Wolverines eat Pikas? They eat everything else
    BTW Pikas are hard to find even in the best of conditions..

  12. Don’t rodents have an advantage, as in multiplying like rabbits?
    They sure look like rodents to me.

  13. “Given the immediacy and pervasiveness of climate-change effects on biotas and the new rule-sets governing distributional change that contemporary climate change has wrought, investigators and policy-makers may be forced to use ‘shortcuts’ for prioritizing actions.”

    Does this mean that “We” think it is all right to lie? pg

  14. Ludicrous claims? Of course. But this is what the CAGW cult are all about, because there are now so few CAGW related stories any vehicle is now being used to peddle CAGW. It matters not is the stories are untrue because the MSM will pimp it regardless and once the stories are out there doing the rounds any later retraction will be meaningless.

    The CAGW fraud requires these fake stories to build a narrative, they dont need to be true, its not their job to be true, its all about perceptions. It is hoped that by constantly bombarding people with these stories the narrative will be accepted, it is what propaganda is all about. Once perceptions have been manipulated to a certain point it really doesnt matter how untrue or ridiculous the stories become because its not about the search for truth, it is in fact all about the battle for perception, what people perceive to be true instead of what is actually true.

    Think about the tens of thousands of untrue CAGW related stories in the MSM over the last decade, most of which have been disproved and investigated and found to be untrue, built on wild unsubstantiated and flawed methodologies. It doesnt matter that these stories are untrue because they were only meant to pervert public perception of reality and in that they have been successful, the propaganda has done its job of work.

    I think many people still cannot quite grasp the true nature of the struggle we are in, those who peddle CAGW alarmism are fully conversant with the doctrines of political propaganda and its potent effect on the minds of the target audience. They are building a wall of lies and for every lie that is torn down ten takes it place, the truth is being drowned in a tidal wave of lies and that is what propaganda is all about, the drowning of the truth.

  15. P.G. Sharrow says:
    April 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    “Given the immediacy and pervasiveness of climate-change effects on biotas and the new rule-sets governing distributional change that contemporary climate change has wrought, investigators and policy-makers may be forced to use ‘shortcuts’ for prioritizing actions.”

    Does this mean that “We” think it is all right to lie?

    ———–

    Yes indeed. That is one of the foundations of ‘Conservation Biology.’ This new “mission oriented” field recognizes the need to act when there is “insufficient information” because… because it is an emergency!!!

    The Precautionary principle says that they can say anything they want because it might be true. So they say whatever they want.

    Needless to say, the journal Conservation Biology, and its rapidly multiplying clones – like this ‘Global Change Biology’ – is the source of no end of ‘peer reviewed’ garbage, lies, and misleading ‘science.’

    That’s how such obvious junk science as this pika story get ‘published.’

  16. “Given the immediacy and pervasiveness of climate-change effects on biotas and the new rule-sets governing distributional change that contemporary climate change has wrought, investigators and policy-makers may be forced to use ‘shortcuts’ for prioritizing actions.”

    Now where could this possibly be leading ….. I think most of us know the answer to that – yet another so called ‘problem’ that has been ‘discovered’ purely to impose the ‘solution’

    “Governments might legitimately exercise emergency powers in wartime so, argues Prof James Lovelock, they should have similar powers to deal with the threat of global warming – even if that means abandoning democracy.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sfwtc

    ie “policy-makers may be forced to use ‘shortcuts’ for prioritizing actions”

  17. Stalin put it most succinctly. “The Truth can be smothered by a thousand little lies”.

  18. rbateman says:
    April 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    “Don’t rodents have an advantage, as in multiplying like rabbits?
    They sure look like rodents to me.”

    They’re most closely related to rabbits, and rabbits aren’t rodents. And given their usual habitat (and active season) I’d guess they only have young once or twice per year. And given their typically limited habitat (talus slopes) I would expect that they don’t multiply like rabbits. With that limited but relative secure habitat one would expect relatively low reproduction and relatively long individual life – for a small rodent-like animal that is.

    And [sarc] given this alarming (!!!!!) study, perhaps they require very cool conditions and Barry White music to mate? There has been a decline in the amount of that music that appears correlated to the ever rising planetary fever and the rising sea levels and all that, apparently.

  19. If I were a pika and folks kept showing up to disturb my home and highlighting it for all the local predators – I’d move – with no forwarding address. This reminds me of the banding of penguins whereby they changed the dynamics of the sampled members.

    Insofar as the temperature has changed very little and compensatory actions have been noted and described, perhaps it is time to set the climate warming issue aside and ask what else is going on in the Great Basin. If, indeed, global warming is the culprit, the changes in pika numbers and behavior should be happening globally.

  20. Al Gored says:
    April 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Indur M. Goklany says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    “Local extinction” — almost an oxymoron. Every range shift can involve a local extinction.”

    It is worse than that. The correct term for this is ‘extirpation.’ Period. But a few decades back the so-called ‘scientists’ working as ‘Conservation Biologists” started to use the term ‘local extinction’ or even just ‘extinction’… and I am absolutely convinced that they did this because extinction sounds scarier.
    ###

    I think you nailed it. Every time I see the term “Locally Extinct” used, my hackles go up. Greenies pollute everything they touch.

  21. I discussed the battles about the protection of pikas, and the misinformation that some environmentalists are producing, a year ago:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/02/us-pika-not-endangered-sciam-panic.html

    REPLY: Thanks Lubos, I missed that. But then again I don’t visit your website much because it’s so busy it hurts my eyes to read it and sometimes crashes my browser. It’s like a psychedelic string theory lava lamp on acid. ;-)

    On the plus side, the content you have is truly top notch stuff. I just wish it didn’t make my head hurt to read it. – Anthony

  22. “pikas are not widely hunted”

    LOL. If they mean by people, no kidding.

    I have had plenty of experience with these animals, including too many hours watching (and photographing) them at close range and tons of time in their habitat.

    After giving this some thought, here’s the only logical explanation I can come up with for these extirpations (other than the researchers themselves either introducing pathogens or parasites – a real possibility – or just generally screwing up their lives).

    The predator angle that Anthony alluded to makes most sense. And the most effective predator of these pikas are weasels, which can go anywhere that pikas can, and can and do hunt them year round (pikas stay active through the winter living on stored food). Weasels and all the pikas potential mammal predators (all ‘fur bearers’) are all at high population levels… and far, far higher than they were during the old fur trade days or anytime recently.

    And, as Anthony noted, golden eagle and other raptor populations which would hunt pikas are also at high population levels, including the ones which migrate in the alpine and high areas of the Rockies. But because of their warning systems, those birds probably don’t get many.

    So… since nobody was actually counting pikas until recently, that means that their baseline population was probably unnaturally high due to the previous reduction in their predators.

    But they are also saying that whole local populations are disappearing. That could also be an earlier expansion reverting to ‘natural.’

    Finally, look at where this study area is. On the margins of pika range. So fixating on the plight of these populations is like fixating on the world’s most southerly polar bear population in Hudson Bay – irrelevant to the rest of their populations, but a prime opportunity to turn any changes on the fringe into a fake poster child.

    Moreover, in that region there are many isolated mountains with, presumably isolated habitats and populations. That makes them naturally more vulnerable to extirpation.

    Note: I haven’t done my homework on this to look into the specific details because I can’t be bothered investigating these silly stories too much. They usually just go away.

  23. I have vacationed in the San Juans of Southwestern Colorado practically every summer since the early 1970s. The pika population is the same as it ever was, as near as I can tell. They are hard to spot but you can’t miss their squeak calls if you have good hearing. But one of the more entertaining aspects in the last several years is that I had to time my visits a bit later in July so that the 4×4 jeep tours I take could actually transverse the Imogene and Black Bear passes, because that’s how late they’ve been blocked by snow.

    I’d think the pikas would have to move down in elevation if the tops of the mountains are getting a tad more inhospitable…..

  24. Wikipedia agrees, so it must be true:

    “Over 99% of documented species are now extinct,[2]”
    2 Fichter, George S. (1995). Endangered Animals. USA: Golden Books Publishing Company. pp. 5. ISBN 1-58238-138-0.

  25. ” In addition, since 1999 the animals are moving up mountain slopes at an average (Basin-wide) rate of about 145 m (475 feet) per decade,”

    How can you have a decadal average with only one decade?

  26. These animals have survived for 15m years. All those warm periods, many much warmer than today, and now they are in danger from warming. What rubbish.

    And as for animals climbing mountains to get away from rising temperatures??? What rubbish. Animals are not that stupid and they will follow a good food source in preference to some mythical temperature choice.

    Another money/grant raising scam.

  27. Yet another cute furry animal we must save by destroying our economies …

    I find it despicable how conservation activists put whatever the flavour of the month happens to be above the needs of the poorest people, in our developed societies and even more so in the developing countries.
    How can it be right to make people, especially in Africa, live without affordable energy because of the chimera of AGW and CO2?
    What they are really saying is that the lives of a handful of picas (or frogs/toads/polar bears) are more valuable than that of humans living in poverty.
    On the other hand they don’t say a word about the species brought ever closer to extinction, like Orang Utangs, because it is better they lose their habitat to ever more palm-oil plantations in order that a minuscule amount of CO2 in their car fuels can be cut.

    Do these ‘advocates’ have any conscience at all?

  28. Anthony Watts says:

    Only one small problem with this press release below.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 2010, the US government considered, then decided not to add the American pika under the US Endangered Species Act;in the IUCN Red List it is still considered a Species of Least Concern Link here

    But, don’t let that stop anyone from claiming extinctions.

    Species endagerment does not neccesarily follow from the extiction of local populations.

    Anthony Watts says:

    From this article on MNN:…

    …the pikas’ preference for elevated cold-weather habitats has persisted for 15 million years.

    I wonder how these little guys survived the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period….and 1934…and… How can they do that? Hmmm maybe they… adapt?

    Would they have to, is there any proof that the MWP and 1934 were so warm that North America had no elevated cold-weather habitats?

    Anthony Watts says:

    I’ve seen them in the California lava beds, mentioned below in this contradictory Wikipedia paragraph:

    Pikas can die in six hours when exposed to temperatures above 25.5°C (77.9°F) if individuals cannot find refuge from heat. In warmer environments, such as during midday sun and at lower elevation limits, pikas typically become inactive and withdraw into cooler talus openings.[13] Because of behavioral adaptation, American pikas also persist in the hot climates of Craters of the Moon and Lava Beds National Monuments (Idaho and California, respectively). Average and extreme maximum surface temperatures in August at these sites are 32°C (90°F) and 38°C (100°F), respectively [14]

    Sorry, where in the press release is any or this contradicted?

    Anthony Watts says:

    Another factor, from answers.com “What are the pika’s predators?”

    Some of the Pika’s predators are: bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, foxes, and weasel’s.

    Hmmm. I hear the American Eagle is making a big comeback. The Bobcats seem to have rebounded well, coyotes are on the increase, despite control efforts, foxes are making a comeback after a poison was banned, at least in Wyoming. Nah, couldn’t be any of that, it must be global warming.

    And, of course, famously, none of these predators can climb or fly so the natural response of prey to an increase in their numbers is increased elevation….

    REPLY:Gosh Kev, a new record for bloviation for you in a single comment. I understand that in order to maintain your faith, you must denounce previous warm periods. Can’t have those. Point #2 read the text again, the Wikipedia paragraph is self contradictory, you are arguing a strawman. #3 Hmmm let’s see, if you are a predator….do you start at the top of the mountain and work your way down? Or, from the bottom up, concentrating prey at the top? If you are under siege, do you take the high ground, or the low ground? If you are a Pika, having a swarm of scientists visiting your neighborhood, leaving strange scents poking temperature probes into your favorite holes, do you stick around and watch, or hightail it outta there? – Anthony

  29. Luboš Motl @ April 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm AND
    Indur M. Goklany @ April 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Very nicely put!

    Here in SE Australia, we have some very colourful birds, some with remarkable behaviour/attitude/humour, but I fear that one species previously common in my garden has become extinct.

    Please click this URL for some interesting images and weep with me over the 6th (?) great extinction!

    Bob Fernley-Jones

  30. Do they breed like their ancestor, big daddy rabbit, too?

    When the crazed climate communist hippie parade, in their delusional anthropogenic dystopic wet fantasy, is alarmed of the catastrophic decline of the common city rat, then I’ll worry if it starts to stink more ‘an usual and there ain’t no waste management strikes going on what with the parade always seems to lack empirical evidence. But of course the pot parade wouldn’t believe in such “observed” folly, anyhow. :p

  31. Here is an astute observation about global warming and animals.

    Global Warming: Bad for Good and Good for Bad
    Whenever we read a story about some plant or animal showing up where they usually weren’t or disappearing from where they usual are, global warming always shows up in the list of the usual suspects.

    And, of course, global warming is up to no good. Usually, “bad” species are showing up where they are unwanted, while “good” ones are being endangered.
    World Climate Report [with examples]

  32. Al Gored says:
    April 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm
    ……………….
    For example, a while back Canda’s most prominent Green Pinnochio David Suzuki was talking about the Spotted Owl in British Columbia…

    Suzuki is an eternal pessemist.

    Dr. David Suzuki:
    “My children and grandchildren. What gives me hope is that we don’t know enough to say it’s too late. The most valued salmon species is sockeye salmon and the largest run in the world is the Fraser River run in British Columbia, Canada. Over the past century, good runs were of the order of 25 to 35 million fish. Two years ago, just over a million sockeye returned and I figured “That’s it. The run is done.” A year later we got the biggest run in 100 years – 35 million! No one knows what the hell happened, but it shows nature has surprises up her sleeve and maybe, if we can pull back and give her a chance, she will reveal some wonderful surprises like the Fraser Sockeye.”

    http://tcktcktck.org/2011/04/partner-spotlight-dr-david-suzuki-co-founder-david-suzuki-foundation/

    What use are experts?

  33. Re: Luboš Motl’s comment on April 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm and Anthony’s reply

    Ack! I followed Motl’s link to see just how bad it looked, just in case Anthony was slightly exaggerating.

    Pink and white Japanese anime kittens for the page background.

    It’s worse than was thought. Much worse.

    Anthony, for the sake of your fellow humans, please append a warning note to the sidebar link to Motl’s site: (may induce nausea)

  34. This just gets so tiring. The amount of panic, over and over again, coming from the alarmists is wearying.

    If we could find a way to harness even a tenth of the energy they expend in a months’ worth of panicking, we could solve the world’s energy problems for the next millenia.

  35. Is it possible to hollow them out? two of them would make a nice pair of slippers.
    Hmmm, i wonder if there`s a market?

  36. David Schofield says:

    April 21, 2011 at 1:22 am

    ” In addition, since 1999 the animals are moving up mountain slopes at an average (Basin-wide) rate of about 145 m (475 feet) per decade,”

    How can you have a decadal average with only one decade?

    Answer:

    Computer model.

    :)

  37. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    April 21, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Re: Luboš Motl’s comment on April 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm and Anthony’s reply

    Ack! I followed Motl’s link to see just how bad it looked, just in case Anthony was slightly exaggerating.

    Pink and white Japanese anime kittens for the page background.

    It’s worse than was thought. Much worse.

    Do I sense an imminent extirpation?

  38. I’ll volunteer to save at least two breeding pairs at my house. They are ADORABLE! I’ve always wanted a pet pika.

  39. If I’m not mistaken if a creatures predatory population increases isn’t it due, amongst other things, mainly to an increase in the population of the prey? At least that’s what I was taught in my 5th grade zoo trip.

  40. REPLY:Gosh Kev, a new record for bloviation for you in a single comment. I understand that in order to maintain your faith, you must denounce previous warm periods.

    I understand to maintain your faith, you have to misrepresent anyone who challenges it, I didn’t denounce any previous warming periods.

    REPLY:Point #2 read the text again, the Wikipedia paragraph is self contradictory, you are arguing a strawman.

    Sorry, my mistake, I retract the comment, but fail to see why, when you recognise what a strawman is, why you would employ one yourself and then immediately point out somone elses; double standards?

    REPLY:
    and #3? – Anthony

  41. banjo says:
    Is it possible to hollow them out? two of them would make a nice pair of slippers.
    Hmmm, i wonder if there`s a market?

    Pika-shoes?

  42. Has anyone like Willis checked out the temperature trend data? Or independently looked at the temperature data where problem occurred?

  43. “Pikas can die in six hours when exposed to temperatures above 25.5°C (77.9°F) if individuals cannot find refuge from heat.”

    “If my calculations are correct, when this thermometer hits 78 degrees; you’re going to see some serious sh*t.”

  44. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (so I’ve heard), whether that be a Pika eye or Anthony’s or kadaka’s. I find Lumo’s site breathtakingly beautiful. Lay off!

    Jimbo @ 4:36 regarding Suzuki’s surprise at the recent large Fraser Sockeye run:

    Everybody catch up, please. Recall the PDO was “discovered” by fisheries researchers — and worked as predicted. Suzuki’s “what the hell happened” statement just means he wasn’t paying attention.

  45. Craters of the Moon Natural Monument is one of the hottest places in Idaho . If pikas are so temperature sensitive , how can they live there ?

  46. Actually I have personal experience with “local extinction”, as I am now extinct in my native county (though in my case nobody seems to care). :-(

  47. The pika is essentially a mountain rat.

    Will we next see the Norway rat on the endangered list? After all, if it came from Scandinavia, it must be seriously uncomfortable down in topical New York and Chicago. /snarc

  48. Yes – prefer, not “restricted to”

    Humans prefer temps around 78-80 F and middling-low humidity. But they can survive in wildly differing environments, both much hotter and colder.

  49. The alarmists are really getting desperate. No species will survive if they cannot tolerate even a minimum of temperature change since the only constant with climate is change. I suspect they will find a hidden cache of these rodents and viola! Stop farmers from farming their lands.

  50. Def says:
    April 21, 2011 at 8:04 am

    “If I’m not mistaken if a creatures predatory population increases isn’t it due, amongst other things, mainly to an increase in the population of the prey? At least that’s what I was taught in my 5th grade zoo trip.”

    Yes, they do oversimplify for 5th graders… or now for the public on most ‘nature’ pablum shows.

    In reality it depends on various factors and first and foremost the starting point. Simple example. Until the mid-1990s there were no wolves in Yellowstone, and a hyper-abundant elk population (effectively destroying the habitat). Since introducing wolves there the wolf population has exploded… while their prey populations have declined dramatically (ignore the thick green propaganda on this).

    Now, after peaking, the wolf population is stabilized or declining in synch with its reduced prey populations… except for all the wolves that are now wandering far from parks etc. and eating cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, etc. – which is why the States finally managed to get them delisted and out of the hands of the lying EPA. Idaho just declared the wolf population an emergency which gives them much more power to deal with problem wolves.

    So what they taught you in the 5th grade was an oversimplification based on the fairy tale of the ‘balance of nature’ – the same fairy tale that the EPA and their puppet ‘Conservation Biologists’ used to LIE to the public when they sold the wolf introduction to Yellowstone. They assured everyone that wolves would have no impact on their prey populations. LIE. They said that their target was about 1000 wolves. Then when the population was almost 3000 they LIED and said that was now not enough. Now that lie is clearly evident so they are lying about numbers.

  51. “”””” Another factor, from answers.com “What are the pika’s predators?”

    Some of the Pika’s predators are: bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, foxes, and weasel’s. “””””

    They forgot one of the main predators. Since Pikas often have to go and hide in a hole or under a rock to get out of the sun, they are a favorite prey of Rattlesnakes.

  52. “”””” John Silver says:
    April 21, 2011 at 7:07 am
    What do they taste like? “””””

    Taste just like chicken; or Rabbit for that matter. So far as I can tell rattlesnakes don’t give a damn about taste; it is down the hatch with the whole furry bundle; when it comes to being adaptable those furry tribbles are just pikas.

  53. Here in SE Australia, we have some very colourful birds, some with remarkable behaviour/attitude/humour, but I fear that one species previously common in my garden has become extinct.

    Please click this URL for some interesting images and weep with me over the 6th (?) great extinction!

    Bob Fernley-Jones
    ———————————————————–
    Great pix, Bob.

    As a fellow Australian, you will be aware of examples of how the pseudo-science called ‘conservation biology’ is used to stop developments like housing, mining and road building because it is claimed that the ‘threatened’ fifteen toed tree frog or lesser small eared parrot (budgie) has been seen in the area at some point.

    Your post reminded me that I’ve not seen any King Parrots in my garden this year. I refuse to believe that the big rains have provided them with plenty of food elsewhere – no, no, it must mean a local ‘species extinction’!

    As I live in Canberra, an upside of the drought was that birds from a long way away used to come into town to find water and food. Numbers and variety of species have been down this last summer :(.

    Good to see that WUWT is tackling the bogus ‘science’ that permeates so-called conservation biology.

  54. REPLY: and #3? – Anthony

    Are we required to address every point in a post? I only ask because you have failed to explain why you conflated local extinction with endangerment of a whole species.

    REPLY:
    It was YOUR POINT #3 …sheesh

  55. REPLY: It was YOUR POINT #3 …sheesh

    No, it was MY POINT #4 …sheesh:

    1. Why did you conflate species endagerment with local extinction?
    2. Is there any proof that MWP and 1934 were so warm that they precluded cool, elevated habitats?
    3. What contradictions?
    4. Is predation a good explanation for the change of habitat?

    In both your responses to me you have ignored one point (you have not addressed #1 above and you have failed to explain why you misrepresented #2 as a denial of the existence of MWP), yet, hypocritically, criticize me for doing the same.

  56. Here in Oz we have a large threatened fruit-bat; the Grey Headed Flying Fox, which has a very large range along the East Coast. A few years ago its summer-time population in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens was so huge (~30,000) that they were threatening extinction of their roosting trees through mechanical damage. Rather cleverly, they were persuaded to roost out-of-town along the eucalyptus forest up river, where they can move along if trees become too damaged. This endangered species can still be enjoyed as a spectacle in vast numbers at their new camp. (amazing numbers, and I think beautiful, with a wingspan of about 1 metre)

    http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10697

    Bob Fernley-Jones

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