We’re honored to be among the 70 co-authors on a new paper published in Nature Climate Change and reported on by PBS. This study reveals that when it comes to surviving climate change, the key to a pika population’s survival is less a matter of genetics and more a matter of the ecological conditions they’ve encountered throughout life.
This has implications for conservation of pikas and other wild animals and plants. In efforts to ensure that species survive amidst changing environmental conditions, individuals of different species may be relocated from one area for reintroduction to another.
Previously, genetic characteristics or variety were held to be the most accurate predictors of survival and success. It’s now clear that in at least some situations, the past life history of the individuals may in fact bear the lion’s share––or in this specific case, the pika’s share––of impact.