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Although it's not officially endangered, further monitoring of tiny pika is needed, says federal biologist

February 5, 2010 |  4:08 pm


The American pika isn't heading for the endangered species list, but federal scientists say there's no question it bears watching if the West continues to warm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally announced its decision Friday that Endangered Species Act protections aren't warranted for the climate-sensitive pika, a mountain-dwelling relative of the rabbit that lives in 10 Western states.

Agency officials acknowledge, though, that there's still plenty that's not known about the pika, a species that can be difficult to study because of its remote mountain habitat.

A federal biologist says the decision not to list the pika is just the beginning of what's expected to be more intensive monitoring of the secretive species in the coming years.

-- Associated Press

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Photo: Associated Press

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