Cheryl’s MSc thesis focuses on a population of American Pikas that are inhabiting a somewhat unusual habitat, namely a landscape created through the extensive reclamation activities of a large mining operation. The pikas have colonized the 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 has collected survival (summer and winter), demographic and body condition on the animals, and is currently writing up her thesis.
Our partner on this project is Highland Valley Copper, a division of Teck Cominco Ltd.