Want to contribute to the conservation of pika and a greater understanding of the impacts of climate change on the wildlife and important ecosystems in Colorado? JOIN US as a citizen science volunteer for the Front Range Pika Project (FRPP) this summer!
To become an FRPP volunteer you must go through a classroom training and field training to learn about pika ecology and project data collection methods. Once trained, volunteers sign up for any one of our 45 Front Range study sites and head into the field on their own time to collect data on this charismatic species. Pika live in alpine habitats above 8,000 feet in elevation here in Colorado, so volunteers must be able to hike at altitude while navigating across variable terrain. More details on the project can be found below and on the About Us tab of this website.
If you are interested in volunteering for the FRPP this year, check out the JOIN US tab of this website for more information on volunteer expectations and trainings.
What is the Front Range Pika Project?
The Front Range Pika Project (FRPP) is a citizen science program that engages the public in conservation research on the American pika. FRPP volunteers follow monitoring protocols to collect data on the status of pika and their habitat characteristics, thereby contributing to an understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on pika populations and alpine ecosystems across Colorado. One of the longest running citizen science projects studying pika, this project provides long-term data that is needed by researchers and wildlife managers to aid the conservation of this little-understood alpine species and its associated habitats. Contribute to pika monitoring studies currently underway throughout the West and help us better understand this native Colorado species!
Uniquely adapted to their high-elevation alpine ecosystems in the Southern Rocky Mountains, there is increasing concern that pika may be vulnerable to increased summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and potential changes in vegetation as a result of climate change. More data is needed, however, to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on pika. The Front Range Pika Project grew out of this pressing need. Our long-term monitoring program is designed to gain an understanding of pika distribution, track the species' response to climate change, and inform strategies to mitigate potential impacts of climate change.Our focal area is the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. Pikas may be more resilient to climate change in the extensive, high-elevation habitat found in the Southern Rocky Mountains than in some other parts of their distribution where extirpation of pika populations and range retraction linked to climate change has been documented. However, recent research predicts that pikas may be extirpated from Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) during this century under some climate change scenarios, so there is a pressing need for more research in the Front Range and throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains. By volunteering for the FRPP, you will be helping to contribute to a long-term, wide-scale dataset on pika distributions and habitat characteristics that will help us better understand the potential impacts of climate change on pika and their alpine habitats across Colorado. This would not be possible without your help!