Colorado Pika Project
Volunteers form the core of the Colorado Pika Project, a community-science partnership coordinated by Rocky Mountain Wild and the Denver Zoo. We train volunteers to do research on the American pika, a small relative of rabbits that lives in the Rockies and other rocky places throughout the western United States.
Pikas are sensitive to climate. They are disappearing from some areas in a pattern that suggests they are succumbing to recent climate change. Several researchers at CU Boulder study changes in the pikas’ distribution. They have partnered with the Colorado Pika Project to offer students and other community members a chance to contribute to these studies.
This project involves late-summer and fall monitoring of pika habitats in specific, mostly off-trail and remote locations along the Colorado Front Range, in Rocky Mountain National Park, and in the White River National Forest. We seek to determine how these habitats are changing and whether pikas continue to exist within them. We make volunteer-collected data available through an interactive website, which also provides informative maps and other data useful to researchers, land managers, and the general public.
If you like to explore high elevations off trail and want to volunteer as a member of our team, please join us! We will happily provide you with the necessary training, resources, and support to locate our study sites, follow our research protocol, and contribute your data online. Our volunteers train together and work in pairs to collect data. You can pair up either with other volunteers or with your own friends, partners or family members to conduct annual pika surveys and enjoy an annual volunteer appreciation event. Visit our website to get in touch with us.
You can also contribute by using the Pika Patrol smartphone app to record observations of American pikas wherever you find them. Even if you have never seen a pika before, Pika Patrol will teach you to identify them by sight, calls, hay piles, and scat. Learn about the app here.
Pika Research Project
Our trainings and pika habitat surveys take place in remote places in several mountain counties. Pikas live almost exclusively in boulder fields and talus-covered slopes, so each pika survey is done in uneven, steep terrain. Hiking distances and level of difficulty are documented for study sites. Schedules and locations are available at our website: www.pikapartners.org
Public or Private
Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)
Pika Patrol App
Pika Patrol allows you to record observations of American pikas wherever you find them! Even if you’ve never seen a pika before, Pika Patrol will teach you to identify them by sight, calls, haypiles, and scat.
By joining our team of community scientists, you will help researchers understand how pikas are coping with climate change.
Public or Private
Public Program (open to the public)
No charge to attend/participate in activity or program
College of Arts & Sciences
- Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
- Rocky Mountain Wild
- Denver Zoo
- Continental Divide Research Learning Center
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Program
- Adult Learners
- General Public
- Non-Profit Organization
- Students - Homeschooled
- Students - High School
- Teachers - High School
- Climate Change/Global Warming
- Biological Sciences
- Informal and Community Education
- Educational Research and Resources
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Environment and Sustainability
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Education
- Life Sciences