Pikas are serving as vital early sentinels of climate-driven changes in alpine habitats. Our research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem identifies habitat at risk due to climate change and areas that can act as refugia for these animals in the future.
Climate change and its effects on all species may be one of the most difficult challenges to be faced in the twenty-first century. The most notable changes will be felt at high latitudes and at the poles. As humans, we will be able to mitigate some of the climate challenges through migration, innovative technologies and change in political policies. Plant and wildlife species on the other hand will be limited in their ability to withstand climate change. Species will either adapt by migrating latitudinal or altitudinal within their ranges, finding microclimate refugia that are buffered from extremes, or perish.