Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Pika


Pika Pose

Small mammals like Pikas can often be harder to photograph than large mammals like Elk and Bison. First off, they move faster. There is less to focus on. Even when you are close, they are still small in the viewfinder. So when the Pikas do stop for a moment, it’s time to fire the shutter. 

Surveying His Domain

In the far north, Pikas can be found close to sea level. In more southerly areas, it’s rare to find them below 8000 ft. In the Banff area, it usually means a hike up a mountain somewhere. Finding them at 7200 ft. near Sheepeater Cliffs in Yellowstone NP was a real treat for me. I believe this is an American Pika.

Making Hay, While The Sun Shines

Pikas don’t hibernate in the winter and rely on “hay” they store themselves made of grasses and other vegetation. They dry piles of grass that they later stuff into holes and crevices near their home for consumption in the winter.

Exit Stage Right

 

Increased temperatures are reducing the Pika’s habitat. Many live at or near the treeline already. A bid earlier this year to place the American Pika on the Endangered Species List was turned down by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Hopefully the Pika won’t be exiting our planet.

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