The American pika, typically associated with rocky talus slopes in alpine ecosystems, can also be found in the vast low-elevation lava flows of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and Lava Beds National Monument. We seek to understand the remarkable story of pika persistence and distribution in America's wild lava lands through a combination of field surveys, photo- and videography, subsurface microclimatology, GIS data analysis and cutting-edge, high-resolution aerial thermal imagery and laser altimetry.
Photo credit: Michael Durham
“This summer, while searching for pika populations in low elevation lava flows in Central Oregon, the research team deployed a camera trap at a particular haypile which seemed promising in terms of pika observation. The camera trap not only captured a pika, but also prompted questions about pika behavior in terms of crepuscular activity, and resource allocation among multiple species located in the habitat. Camera traps in wildlife ecology have the ability to redefine concepts developed about pika and other species, which I find to be most stimulating.” - Corrinne Oedekerk, Student Researcher
Diana Popp, Corrinne Oedekerk, Emily Zamarripa, Cara Piske, Kraig Esswein, Cooper Malin, Trent Hawkins, Erin Beuttenmuller and Matt Shinderman.