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The Front Range Pika Project

Bob Zaparanick

Many people might know that polar bears are endangered and need to be saved, but there is our very own animal that lives in the heart of the Rocky Mountains that is at risk as well. The Pika. The Pika, an animal that looks somewhat like a chipmunk lives at very high elevations in the mountains we live by. But there may not be many Pika left. The Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild created a project to involve the people of Colorado in an effort to determine the status of pikas in our state. It is called the Front Range Pika Project.
This project has been going on for five years, and was created after the species was proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists don’t know the status of the Pika population in and around Colorado, so volunteers from the Front Range Pika Project help try to figure this out. That is one of the main aspects of the Front Range Pika Project.
Citizen Science is the Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild’s way of doing this. Citizens can volunteer and go on hikes to look and listen for the evaporating species. This people collect data and then report back to share their results. FRPP will then look at the results and compare them from years before to see where the Pika still are.
Volunteering is an amazing way to give back to ones community as well as learn about the Pika and the problem the species is faced with. A volunteer must complete training sessions in a classroom, and out in the wilderness. One must be 12 years of age to volunteer. No matter their background people should try this unique experience and help the Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild with the Front Range Pika Project in order to preserve the wildlife we all know.