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pikas

You’re adorable but you will die if the temperature rises much above 80°F. So climate change is a big deal in your world, which just happens to be high mountain peaks. Who are you?

You are the American pika, a small member of the rabbit family that the California Dept. of Fish and Game has agreed to designate as a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (ESA). It’s the first step towards full protection in the state. The DFG is now seeking public comment on a proposal to list the pika as an endangered or threatened species.

A victory came Wednesday in the case of the pika. This tiny, threatened alpine creature now has a shot at endangered species protections. The pika is eligible because its habitat is warming, and it is the first mammal in the lower forty-eight to be considered for that reason.

But if you know only one thing about pikas, it will inevitably be this: they are adorable. Think mouse-eared baby bunny that never grows up.

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