Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) is a unique site because there are two different subspecies of pikas within the Park. Back at the lab, she tests the droppings for different hormone levels - a non-invasive method for analyzing pika stress levels. Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Gestation period is 30 days and litters of two to six hairless, blind infants are born. After one month, the babies leave their mothers to establish their own dens, even though they don’t fully mature for another few months. Excellent hearing and vision to warn them of danger in their surroundings. Rocky Mountain National Park is known for sudden changes in the weather. I’ve seen them before on the Ute Pass hike, which is also gorgeous! Their ears are short, they have hair on the soles of their feet, and their back legs are barely longer than their front legs, unlike rabbits and hares. The Town of Estes Park chose the 12 names—all taken from historical Estes Park figures.” They are sculpted doing what pikas do in their natural Colorado Rocky Mountain habitat—climbing rocks, gathering grass, barking, running, sitting, and taking a nap. Pikas must truly "make hay while the sun shines" - they typically have about three months while plants are growing to collect and cure them. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222. Individual haystacks can be as large as a bathtub. Pikas scamper across the tundra collecting plants and keeping a sharp eye out for eagles, weasels, coyotes, and martens that might like to collect them for supper. Pikas are members of the order Lagomorpha and are more closely related to rabbits than the rodent ground squirrels they may resemble to the casual observer. Pikas are abundant in the park at elevations generally above treeline. Short tail that is not externally visible on most individuals. They are active during the day, especially in the morning, but they can be heard calling at night. Other than for breeding or raising a family, they maintain individual territories, but territories can overlap to some extent. Vocal animals that use both calls and songs to communicate and protect their territories. Most of the time they prefer sedges, alpine avens, and clover. Pikas (Ochotona princeps), sometimes called coneys or rock rabbits, are one of the most popular tundra animals among Rocky Mountain National Park visitors. About 80 to 90% the material pikas collect is forbes (non-woody plants) and shrubs. Pikas in the Park is sponsored by the Town of Estes Park, and made possible by these generous donors: Airbits, Estes Area Lodging Association, Kind Coffee, Frank and Jill Lancaster, Mama Rose's Italian Restaurant, Mueller, Pye & Associates CPA, Greg and Pamela Muhonen, Poppy's Pizza & Grill, Rustic Mountain Charm, Craig Soderberg, Village Goldsmith, Visit Estes Park… Captured with Sony a9 with Sony 100-400 GM + 1.4x extender. Whether you say pika with a long i sound or as pee-ka (both are considered correct according to Merriam-Webster), this small mammal of the tundra is an adorable and popular animal. The young are weaned in three to four weeks and stay with their mothers for about another four weeks until they have reached adult size. A bighorn sheep crosses the road near Sheep Lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park A bighorn sheep on Fall River Road in Estes Park, CO. Sheep Lakes is located near the Fall River Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. We paid $25 for a day pass (it would have been free if we’d had a fourth grader with an Every Kid in a Park pass ), and were immediately greeted by a herd of bighorn sheep. The subspecies in Rocky Mountain National Park and other parts of the American West evolved due to gradual geographic separation from other lineages as a result of changes in climate over the past tens of thousands of years. After you’ve layered up, keep hiking to mile three, where there is a perfect place to rest and catch your breath at the Emerald Lake Overlook, 1,200’ up. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222. of Rocky Mountain National Park. Citizen scientists visit areas with appropriate habitat to look for pika, or signs of pika, to help us better understand the distribution of pikas throughout the park. Pikas are known as whistling hares because they make a whistling sound to communicate. *There are a handful of Front Range sites that are within Rocky Mountain National Park or White River National Forest, however these sites follow the Traditional Protocol, not the Public Land Protocol. When she finds the pika poo in one of her four Rocky Mountains National Park sites, Ashley takes a sample in a tiny manilla envelope, jotting down GPS coordinates. With short limbs, very round body, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, they resemble their close relative, the rabbit, but with short, rounded ears. Elk can be seen all throughout the park, and it’s very likely that you’ll see a … American Pika commonly found in Rocky Mountain National Park at high altitude, tundra locations like Trail Ridge Road. Although declines have been rare in Rocky Mountain National Park to date, the possibility of extirpation exists. Pikas may be found in areas on the tundra such as Rainbow Curve, Rock Cut, and Tundra Communities Trail. Wildlife at a Sonoran desert water hole - Duration: 13:54. When you visit, keep an eye out for mountain wildlife like marmots, elk, and mountain goats. Sledding in Rocky Mountain National Park The entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is a mere five minutes from Estes Park. Elk. The northern and southern Rocky Mountain lineages were once isolated from each other but currently coexist in the park and are likely interbreeding. A recent study in Rocky Mountain National Park found that there is a contact zone and limited gene flow between two historically separated genetic lineages of American pika within the park. Pikas live in and around talus slopes and in mountain meadows. This new activity includes 12 bronze sculptures of Pikas, the small mountain-dwelling relatives of rabbit, placed …