The American Pika
Welcome to the Baby Carrot Pika Page!
We are so thrilled to have this adorable native species as part of our new Baby Carrot brand that we wanted to make a page devoted to it. Here you will find links to articles about the American Pika, habitat conservation efforts around the country, and about Oregon Wild - who we are donating a portion of our proceeds of Baby Carrot to. They have a great page on their website that has mountains of American Pika information. Check out the videos too - one to hear their distinctive call - the other to learn about US Park Service efforts at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Read about conservation efforts in Washington State by Conservation Northwest too.
The Craighead Institute in Bozeman, Montana offers a bounty of information on the American Pika and the opportunity to symbolically adopt a pika with a donation. They even offer pika artwork for your contribution. The California Pika Consortium is working hard to get the American Pika listed as an endangered species. Pika populations have been hardest hit in California and in the Crater Lake area of Oregon. The Center for Biological Diversity is working hard to help get the 5 California subspecies listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.
Why the American Pika? Well, when we decided to change our brand, we wanted something cute. Going along with the carrot theme, thoughts turned to bunnies, and then to native bunnies, and then to the smallest member of the bunny family, and most adorable creature of these beautiful alpine areas - the American Pika. What we didn't know at the time we made this emotional decision was that the Pika was in peril in many habitats around the western US. We have since discovered that the Pika has become an indicator species of climate change and the populations are plummeting due to habitat loss and lack of the cold climate that it needs to thrive.
One of the most endearing habits that the Pika has for us - is that they forage for wild plants. The Pika that you see on our labels is carrying some of the wild plants that it harvested. They spread these plants out on talus rocks and dry them before storing in their caves for eating during the cold, long winters. You can find these haypiles in rock crevices and in caves sometimes while out hiking.
We were super excited to learn that in the Columbia River Gorge there are Pika that live in low elevations are totally thriving. They have adapted their diet and eat mostly moss. They don't seem to be impacted as much by climate change.
Here in the mountains of Wallowa County, the Pika populations also seem to be thriving. We love good news. Don't you? Here is a photo taken by Mariah Blackhorse at Jackson Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Sept of 2013.