The Conversation: Pikas are NOT Dying Out from Global Warming

Arizona Emeritus Professor of Life Sciences using using personal observations to challenge the wild climate model predictions and the scientific consensus of his colleagues.

Pikas are adapting to climate change remarkably well, contrary to many predictions

January 8, 2021 3.30am AEDT
Andrew Smith
Professor Emeritus of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Climate change is harming many special places and iconic species around our planet, from Glacier National Park’s disappearing glaciers to California redwoods scorched by wildfires. But for the animal I study, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), there’s actually some good news: It’s not as threatened by climate change as many studies have warned. 

I have studied pikassmall cousins of rabbits, for over 50 years and never tire of watching them. These tailless, egg-shaped balls of fluff live primarily in cool mountainous environments in piles of broken rock, called talus.

When fellow hikers see me observing pikas in California’s Sierra Nevada, they often tell me they have read that these animals are going extinct. I have collected a stack of press releases that say exactly that. But based on my recent research and a comprehensive review of over 100 peer-reviewed studies, I believe that this interpretation is misleading.

As the world’s climate warmed, pika populations retreated to the high mountains of the western U.S. and Canada. Today they occupy most of the available talus habitat in these areas – evidence that challenges the pikas-on-the-brink narrative. 

For example, in recent surveys, pikas were found at 98% of 109 suitable sites in Colorado, and at 98% of 329 sites in the central Sierra Nevada. One study of historic pika sites across California’s Lassen, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks found no evidence that pikas were moving to new sites or higher altitudes due to climate change.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/pikas-are-adapting-to-climate-change-remarkably-well-contrary-to-many-predictions-150726

I must say I applaud Professor Smith’s courage.

We’ve all seen what happens to professors who dare to present evidence to challenge the wild climate assertions of their colleagues; they get removed from their university posts, have their offices attacked by gunmen, stop getting invites to parties, and sometimes even lose their library passes.

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Pariah Dog
January 8, 2021 10:02 am

Pika cheeeewwww!

Pauleta
January 8, 2021 10:02 am

Who would think that species adapt, right? Nature is dumb and naive, as most species are only 6000 years old in the minds of climatards.

[it’s xxx.com, not xxx.ccom -mod]

Latitude
Reply to  Pauleta
January 8, 2021 3:27 pm

nobody is adapting to anything….nothing has changed enough to warrant it

Gerry, England
Reply to  Latitude
January 9, 2021 5:55 am

That depends on whether you think ranges extending further north is ‘adaption’ or not. But, crucially the papers that report this do lie by omission as they give the impression the whole lot are moving north – or maybe upwards – when in fact they are inhabiting a larger area. How is a larger habitable area not a good thing?

Latitude
Reply to  Gerry, England
January 9, 2021 6:19 am

moving with the weather is not adapting to anything

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 9, 2021 11:28 am

Is it possible that because of population increases, “the pika range” is expanding outward due to the pika seeking new habitats and new food sources?

January 8, 2021 10:20 am

Polar bears will be disappointed by this news….the bears were hopeful that the pikas would go far north….they would make a nice snack for the bears.

Jeff Alberts
January 8, 2021 10:25 am

Climate change is harming many special places and iconic species around our planet, from Glacier National Park’s disappearing glaciers to California redwoods scorched by wildfires.”

It’s too bad that the good professor can’t apply his analytical skills to those supposed other problems. He would find that there is nothing new going on.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jeff Alberts
Greg
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 8, 2021 1:43 pm

Indeed he should stick to topics he knows about instead of parroting media tripe. Odd that having realised all the alarmism about pikas was bollox, he does not seem to realise that the other claims are just as bogus.

ATheoK
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 8, 2021 2:36 pm

If redwoods are not regularly scorched by fires, they do not propagate.

National Park Service already learned that the hard way.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 8, 2021 5:23 pm

Perhaps Prof. Smith wishes to avoid losing his library privileges.

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  Dave Burton
January 8, 2021 7:48 pm

Probably more dining hall.

Taphonomic
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 9, 2021 1:44 pm

And I thought the only thing that disappeared from Glacier National Park was the sign that said the glaciers would disappear by 2020.

January 8, 2021 10:32 am

I talked to Dr Smith about this when writing a chapter on Pika in my book. I also blogged about this Climate Horror Stories That Wont Die: The Case of the Pika (Stewart, 2015). 

http://landscapesandcycles.net/pika-not-endangered-its-fear-mongering-.html

which references some of Smith’s work. Alarmists like the Center for Biological Diversity that sues to list every creature possible as endangered from climate (polar bears, penguins, etc) had mis-used his earlier lethality studies Smith testified against the endangered listings for the USA and California and garnished the ire of the CBD who have promoted dishonest pika claims

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jim Steele
January 8, 2021 10:52 am

garnished the ire”

Garnered?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 8, 2021 2:53 pm

Yeah, garnered would have been the correct word to have chosen. Garnished simply came to mind thinking of “garnished wages”

menace
Reply to  Jim Steele
January 9, 2021 8:31 am

I think of parsley

DipChip
Reply to  Jim Steele
January 9, 2021 4:42 pm

embellished the ire.

Doug S
Reply to  Jim Steele
January 9, 2021 6:46 am

Thanks for the link to your paper Jim. I always enjoy reading your work, so easy a Physics major can understand! 

Happy new year, keep the faith!

CD in Wisconsin
January 8, 2021 10:43 am

“,,,I must say I applaud Professor Smith’s courage.
We’ve all seen what happens to professors who dare to present evidence to challenge the wild climate assertions of their colleagues; they get removed from their university posts, have their offices attacked by gunmen, stop getting invites to parties, and sometimes even lose their library passes…”

This is the religion of misanthropy at work here. It is an infallible religious doctrine that is not to be challenged or questioned. You must conform, and God help you if you try to think independently for yourself. The only permissible science here is that which confirms and supports the cult’s doctrine.

I wish there was a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign that you could hang on the human mind.

Dave Fair
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 8, 2021 6:39 pm

Jeff Foxworthy: “Here’s your sign.”

OweninGA
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 8, 2021 7:02 pm

That would be Bill Engvall.

David Hartley
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 8, 2021 7:43 pm

If I may reply to you with something I posted on another anti warmist site.
“I do not believe in Abraham’s God of the Jewish, Islamic or Christian religions. With that disclaimer could I present a few observations.
We are living in Biblical times but not as the believers would have us think. The Holy books of the Religion are carrying out what they were designed for and what they have always been used for and that is Social Engineering.
Everyone and their dog knows that the masks do not stop virus, they are worn in operating rooms for an instance to prevent fluid splash entering the staffs bodies and those fluids do carry a host of nasties.
However the masses reply could be we know they don’t stop virus but we believe, almost as the power of prayer is meant to stop the curses, so to speak, causing disease so the masks act as that self same barrier between them and reality, fighting the same imaginary problems. For if the Covid was all that real they would lose control of the narrative. For the prayers are always aimed at a Devil who does not exist instead of action against the evil Priests and Politicians who sure as Hell do exist.
Next we have Lockdowns. Church sanctuary anyone? Keep you all nice and safe whilst the aforementioned Priests and Politicians run off with your freedoms, your exchequers and of course your countries.
Let us not forget that this draconian attitude to the Public whilst simmering in the background for some time really came to the boil with the newest Devil CO2 and he is going to burn you in Hades for ever unless you worship at the Church of Political Narcissism and avarice. Get something in the collection plate now! Or suffer the consequences unto many generations.
Heresy. I need remind nobody of the persecution of true Science and Scientists the hateful screams of deniers at anyone challenging their Orthodoxies and the promotion of the false Prophets and their soothsaying and prophesies their icons of false Hockey Sticks and manipulated, in many cases merely manufactured to order, figures and graphs. The falsehoods in their presentations and failures of those prophesies are not to be questioned, to a point we seem to fast approaching, on pain of death.
Social Engineering as always was is and ever shall be. This is not a New World Order but the Old one shaking off the shackles of the Renaissance and the European Enlightenment.”

ColMosby
January 8, 2021 10:44 am

Animals can tolerate a large range of temperatures during the year and to belive that a degree or two would wipe out many species is absurd. History also shows that many of todays species survived a world hotter than ours

Rory Forbes
Reply to  ColMosby
January 8, 2021 5:29 pm

Animals can tolerate a large range of temperatures during the year and to believe that a degree or two would wipe out many species is absurd.

What is worse, they believe these animals will be seriously affected by mere tenths of a degree over periods lasting many generations … when they experience 10s or even 100 degree variations seasonally. There is simply no evidence supporting one prediction they have made. It isn’t just that their evidence is slight. It’s nonexistent.

Steve Keohane
January 8, 2021 10:51 am

It always amuses me to be hiking at tree line in pika-infested Colorado, to observe dead tree trunks a few hundred feet above where trees can and do currently grow. And we are to be concerned if pikas change the elevation they find most comfortable?

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Keohane
January 8, 2021 1:56 pm

CO2 caused those trees to walk up hill a few hundred feet before committing suicide.

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  MarkW
January 9, 2021 8:14 pm

Stealing that. LOL

John F Hultquist
January 8, 2021 11:00 am

“…  live primarily in cool mountainous environments in piles of broken rock, “

They also live in the rock fill of I-90 just west of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State.

Rock fill is a new habitate at about 2,500 feet.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  John F Hultquist
January 8, 2021 11:07 am
Pat from kerbob
January 8, 2021 11:06 am

Once again, observation trumps model

Actual dirty work of collecting field data blows apart the fantasy desk warriors

D.Anderson
January 8, 2021 11:25 am

Tribbles are doing great too.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  D.Anderson
January 8, 2021 11:58 am

Well that’s the trouble with tribbles, isn’t it?

TheMightyQuinn
January 8, 2021 12:06 pm

Global Warming is killing honesty and integrity at an alarming rate.

Redge
Reply to  TheMightyQuinn
January 9, 2021 12:10 am

and it’s worse than predicted

Richard (the cynical one)
January 8, 2021 12:31 pm

How uncollegial prof Smith is being! That is so Ridd-iculous!

M.W.Plia
January 8, 2021 12:33 pm

Just like the pikas there is no evidence that Santa Claus is moving to new sites or higher altitudes due to climate change.

RockyRoad
January 8, 2021 12:44 pm

Ah, let them play. The estimation variance of their models piles heaps of derision on their profession and they haven’t a clue.

Rhs
January 8, 2021 2:16 pm

He should try a video on YouTube but they might not let him:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-climate-science-doesn-t-100043683.html

Mr. Lee
January 8, 2021 6:02 pm

How dare they!
These pikas need to to start dying out so the climate change agenda can move forward! Innocuous balls of fluff? I think not!

Russ R.
Reply to  Mr. Lee
January 10, 2021 10:51 am

Someone at Berkley needs to organize a eco field trip to teach them little buggers some respect for Science.

Dave Fair
January 8, 2021 6:36 pm

Please note that he said Pikas are not leaving their historic range.

Reply to  Dave Fair
January 8, 2021 7:01 pm

I can corroborate that, albeit in a non-scientific way. I’ve been visiting the same high altitude areas of the southern Colorado Rockies (within just a few miles surrounding where that EPA-induced Gold King mine blowout was) every summer since the late 1980s, and the squeaky li’l pikas haven’t moved an inch further up those talus slopes during that entire time.

Bob Hoye
January 8, 2021 8:34 pm

Whew.
TKS
I’ve been losing sleep.

Bill Parsons
January 8, 2021 9:43 pm

No threat to the pikas or their ecosystems in the La Salle Mountains of Utah and Colorado… Ecologist, Johanna Varner.

https://www.cpr.org/show-segment/a-colorado-biologists-passion-for-spheres-with-ears-or-pikas-and-what-they-say-about-climate-change/

Good snowpack on the western slope Colorado River valley. comment image

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
January 9, 2021 8:06 pm

I remember all the way back in 2003 to 2005 getting in an argument about pikas on Usenet… yes, the climate loon argued about pikas going extinct for more than an entire year. They sure do love the cute furry animals… the scaly or eight-legged or not-so-cute ones, not so much.

You’ll note they don’t bleat so much about the Florida Salt Marsh Vole, or the Big Pocket Gopher, or the Virgin Islands Tree Boa Constrictor, or the Hila Monster, or the Great White Shark, or the Spruce-Fir Moss Spider… all on the North American Endangered Species list, whereas the American Pika is not.

IIRC, I referenced research showing that pika numbers were not significantly decreased (and in fact had increased significantly in areas where they weren’t cutting logging and fire-protection roads… my guess is the ‘researchers’ bleating about the pikas couldn’t be bothered to step more than 50 feet from a road out into the wilderness), and their habitat had actually geographically expanded, ranging from the Gallatin Range in Canada to the Craters of the Moon in Idaho to California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

Don’t tell me these climate alarmist idiots are STILL bleating the same twaddle on this topic more than 15 years later. Unbelievable. It’s almost as if they’re incapable of understanding that the pika evolved <b>to live in rough and rocky terrains such as mountains</b>. They are where they’re supposed to be. LOL

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