Pika have a special spot in my heart; they were the first animal that I did species-targeted surveying of as a citizen science volunteer for Cascades Pika Watch. Most American pika populations are declining due to climate change. Those in the Columbia River Gorge are unique not only in the fact that they are holding steady even with the Eagle Creek Fire a couple of years ago, but they live at a much lower elevation than the rest. I’ve really enjoyed being able to hike out to talus slopes and listen for their calls, even if I haven’t been lucky enough to actually see one in the wild. I hope they manage to survive the climate change to come, and continue to charm hikers year after year.

Species portrayed: American pika (Ochotona princeps)