Pika Preservation Saturday


Early one August morning, on a rocky slope high in Montana’s Gallatin Range, biologist Chris Ray crouched on a boulder with a tiny, sedated furball in her hands. Ray has long, wavy salt-and-pepper hair and was wearing white nitrile gloves to protect the creature, a fist-sized denizen of the western mountains called an American pika.

Ray had captured the animal in a small metal “live trap,” and then coaxed it into a clear plastic tube primed with a cotton swab soaked in anesthetic. “Go to dreamland, buddy,” she’d cooed.

Now, she and a group of assistants sprang into action like a medical team in the operating room. They collected blood and urine samples in toothpick-sized glass vials, used tweezers to pick mites from its ears and collect fecal pellets, slid hair and tissue samples into envelopes, and gave the pika a shot of plague vaccine. Ray talked the group through each step, then weighed the critter and tagged its ear before setting it free among the rocks.

Nicholas Kusnetz @ INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS

About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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8 Responses to Pika Preservation Saturday

  1. Micki says:

    May he rest in peace…


  2. Micki says:

    ….just came in from another stint in the garden.

    Rachel Carson’s SILENT SPRING springs to mind…citrus growers douse trees with a novel pesticide: antibiotics used to treat syphilis, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections and a number of other illnesses in humans.

    One grower said, “These bactericides give us hope.”


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Up to the TVD bridge. A few of the usual birds in the greenery. Unusually, two deer across Missouri Flat Creek. Back to the Golden Teriyaki which has remodeled and remenued since the last time I was here, years ago; 47 minutes.


  4. Den says:

    Cold, rainy, and windy here, more tomorrow, nicer next week tho.


  5. Carol says:

    I watched a Nature documentary about the Pika. They are busy little things, running too and fro, stocking their winter homes. If I hadn’t seen that show I would be able to say I’d never heard of Pika before, but alas, I have.


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