. Warming temperatures have sent the tiny pika scrambling for its life to the nation’s highest peaks—but, it may take the nation’s courts to save it.
Yesterday (Feb. 4), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refused to wrap the pika in the protections of the Endangered Species Act, even though it has been driven from most of its historic range by climate change-linked conditions and clings to existence in the cooler air of mountain tops.
It took an Earthjustice lawsuit to make FWS even look at the pika’s plight. Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie reacted to the agency’s decision:
We’ve already lost almost half of the pika that once inhabited the Great Basin, and scientists tell us that pika will be gone from 80 percent of their entire range in the United States by the end of the century. To conclude that this species is not threatened by climate change is an impossible gamble that we can’t afford.