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5 Fun Facts About the American Pika | BeCause Tees

5 American Pika Fun Facts

There’s something extremely cute about the American pika, which is probably why it makes an excellent candidate for our apparel! The irony is that despite being a small, cute, and cuddly-looking creature, this is one of the toughest animals in North America. Read on to find out why and to learn 5 fun facts about the American pika.

American Pika

1. Their Appearance Hides a Surprise!

Small in size, usually less than 8 inches long, American pikas have brown and black fur which helps to camouflage them in their rocky habitat. It’s their fur that hides a surprise – a tail! Whilst they have a tail, it can’t be seen due to their thick coat, so you would never know it’s there.  

2. They Live in Tricky Territory

We wouldn’t fancy trading living spaces with the American pika, that’s for sure! Usually living high up in the mountains at approximately 8,000 to 13,000 feet, this is cold, rocky, windswept territory. There are no trees this high up, just rocks and snow.

They can be found in:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • New Mexico
  • Western Canada

A relative of rabbits and hares, it’s believed that their ancestors crossed the former land bridge between Asia and Alaska thousands of years ago and have since been retreating upslope to reach cooler climates.

American pika on rocks

3. They Don't Hibernate

American pikas don’t hibernate, instead they stay awake in their underground dens all through the winter. To get them through the winter, they cut grasses and wildflowers during the summer and lay them in the sun to dry out, then store them in their den ready for the winter months. They’ve got thick fur to keep them warm through the winter, which then changes to a lighter coat during the summer months. Winter snowpack helps to keep them insulated from the extreme cold.

4. Use Your Ears To Find Them

Their small size makes them a little tricky to spot. Your most helpful sense when it comes to finding an American pika is sound! They are very vocal creatures and make a loud calling noise to claim their territory. If you hear their loud calling noise, chances are they might be sat on a boulder. If you hear them, follow the sound to try to find where it’s coming from!

5. Climate Change is a Major Threat

Unfortunately, number 5 isn't so much of a 'fun' fact about American pikas, but an important one nonetheless. Climate change is causing problems for this little mammal. As climate change is causing higher temperatures and pikas already live high up in the mountains, there isn’t anywhere else for them to go, which means their bodies are struggling to cope with the warmer temperatures. Their summer coats may be lighter, but they’re still thick enough that they can overheat if temperatures get too hot. American pikas are identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the Washington State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP).

 American Pika Tshirt

Our American Pika Collection provides you with cute apparel and provides the planet with more trees that can help to reduce the effects of climate change. Help us to fund the planting of more trees and help to save the American pika – shop now.


The National Wildlife Federation

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

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