Cheryl’s MSc thesis focused on a population of American Pikas that were inhabiting an unusual habitat, namely a landscape created through the extensive reclamation activities of a large mining operation. The pikas have colonized extensive anthropogenic ‘talus’, and because of their location, the animals are subjected to both cold winters and extremely hot summers. The summer heat in particular would seem likely to present a challenge to an animal normally associated with cool, subalpine habitats, but the pikas seem to be doing quite well! Cheryl data collection included survival (summer and winter), demographics, body condition , and even some telemetry on individual animals.
Our partner on this project was Highland Valley Copper, a division of Teck Cominco Ltd. Cheryl currently is employed by Splitrock Environmental.