Oregon Zoo to study pika population, habitat after Eagle Creek F - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo to study pika population, habitat after Eagle Creek Fire

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Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo received a grant to help study the Eagle Creek Fire's impact on pika populations in the Columbia River Gorge.

The $24,100 Citizen Science grant was awarded to the zoo by the U.S. Forest Service.

"This grant provides us with an ideal opportunity to take action for wildlife," said Dr. David Shepherdson, Oregon Zoo deputy conservation manager. "In the wake of the Eagle Creek Fire, it's especially important that we collect data on our unique pika population."

American pikas are tiny mammals that have a distinctive, squeak-toy-like call. They typically live on mountain slopes at elevations above 6,000 feet. The zoo said pikas in the Gorge are of particular interest because they live at a much lower elevation.

The zoo says the Eagle Creek Fire burned through much of the pika habitat in the Gorge. The Cascade Pika Watch will work with the Forest Service to conduct surveys and collect information to find out how the fire affected the pikas habitat and population.

The Cascade Pika Watch is now in its fourth year. Anyone who is interested can learn more and register at oregonzoo.org/pikawatch.

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