PikaNet is a citizen science initiative to engage people of all ages to collect data on the American Pika. This high alpine creature is considered an indicator species of climate change due to its high vulnerability to warming global temperatures. MSI teaches volunteers what species and indicators they are looking for, where to find them, how to collect data, and how to submit the data to a statewide online database. Participants “adopt” their own pika monitoring site to collect and submit this important data.
Data that participants collect will become part of a larger effort to monitor pika populations in Colorado and across the Southern Rockies. The Rocky Mountain Wild and the Denver Zoo will offer sister trainings in the Front Range of Northern Colorado.
CitSci.org serves as the portal for entering data and viewing the results of all submitted surveys. We expect to expand the geographic scope of the program in future years.
PikaNET is a collaborative effort between several organizations including the Mountain Studies Insititute, the Denver Zoo, Rocky Mountain Wild, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU, and the San Juan Public Lands Center. The monitoring effort is linked to the research being done by Dr. Chris Ray and Dr. Liesl Peterson from the University of Colorado Boulder. Chris and Liesl have both been crucial to to the development of compatible protocols and procedures.
For more info on PikaNET please click here!