Photo by Justin Johnson.

The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is a small mammal of the Ochotonidae, within the order of lagomorphs. It is sometimes called the "whistling hare"after its high-pitched alarm call. Pikas live in high, cool mountains regions, including Tahoe. Pika are very sensitive to heat and can die in under an hour if exposed to temperatures above 75 degrees. Because of this heat sensitivity, pika are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Because of increasing temperatures, pikas have been forced to seek higher elevations in recent years.[1]