Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB byte)

Title: A surprising discovery of American pika sites in the northwest Great Basin

Author: Jeffress, Mackenzie R.; Van Gunst, K. Jane; Millar, Constance I.;

Date: 2017

Source: Western North American Naturalist. 77

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Although the American pika (Ochotona princeps) continues to receive attention due to documented declines and range retractions, particularly in the Great Basin, thorough range inventories have yet to be completed in many parts of the region. Here we report on recently discovered populations in northwestern Nevada in areas not suspected to support pika activity under current climate regimes. We describe 238 new locations (“sites”) with evidence of past or current occupancy by pikas that cluster into 31 locales, which we interpret as metapopulations or “demes”, in 15 distinct mountain ranges or geographic areas. We documented twice as many relict sites (sites with evidence of former pika occupancy) as currently occupied sites; supporting previous observations of local range retraction and site losses within the pika’s range. In looking at the overall site data, median elevation and water year precipitation were higher and minimum and maximum July temperatures were lower for occupied sites respective to relict sites. This pattern was repeated in most, but not all, of the seven mountain ranges where both occupied and relict sites were found. Occupied sites were more likely to be found between a lower and upper limit of water year precipitation, in cooler climates, and on more mesic-facing aspects, but many of these environmental descriptors also describe relict sites. The apparent extirpation of pikas from the range with the highest elevation and lowest temperatures (Black Rock Range) and continued persistence in some of the lowest and hottest areas of our survey (Home Camp Range) is particularly noteworthy. Since pikas were known from only a handful of early 20th century records in the area, these surveys greatly expand our understanding of both current and historic pika distribution in the northwestern Great Basin and shed light on patterns of pika persistence and extirpation in a region typified by harsher climates respective to other areas with extant pika populations. Furthermore, our results emphasize the importance of conducting spatially extensive fieldwork to better understand site extirpations and species range retractions.

Keywords: American pika, climate change, extirpation, Great Basin, Ochotona princeps, Nevada, occupancy

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Jeffress, Mackenzie R.; Van Gunst, K. Jane; Millar, Constance I. 2017. A surprising discovery of American pika sites in the northwest Great Basin. Western North American Naturalist. 77.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.