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California Trails

American Pika Disappears from Large Swath of High Sierra

Recent research shows the largest area of extinction yet reported; climate change likely to blame.

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A recent study in the journal PLOS One has depressing numbers to report: the American pika, a small mammal that thrives at high elevations and cold temps, has disappeared from a 64-square-mile area of the High Sierra between Tahoe City and Truckee. The researchers predict that by 2050, the climate conditions suitable for the pika’s survival will plummet by 97 percent.

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