Adaptive capacity of small mammals of western North America

Range maps of 5 small mammals of western North America, with subspecies of the American pika highlighted.

Climate change vulnerability assessments have to-date focused primarily on exposure and sensitivity, with adaptive capacity relatively overlooked.

In a new paper, an army of mammalogists (and Adam) completed an assessment of the adaptive capacity of several iconic mammals of western North America.

Of note, the American pika (Ochotona princeps) has reduced adaptive capacity at the species and sub-species level. This is important because the pika has been denied for listing under the US Endangered Species Act owing to its presumed ability to live in a wide array of habitats.

Geographic and taxonomic variation in adaptive capacity among mountain-dwelling small mammals: Implications for conservation status and actions [open access]
Beever, E.A., Wilkening, J.L., Billman, P., Thurman, L., Ernest, K., Wright, D., Gill, A, Craighead, A., Helmstetter, N.A., Svancara, L.K., Camp, M.J., Bhattacharyya, S., Fitzgerald, J., Hirose, J.M.R., Westover, M., Gerraty, F., Klingler, K., Schmidt, D.A., Ryals, D.,. Brown, R., Clark, S., Clayton, N. Collins, G., Cutting, K., Doak, D., Epps, C.W., Foley, J., French, J. Hayes, C.L., Mills, Z., Moyer-Horner, L., Nichols, L., Orlofsky, K., Peacock, M., Penzel, N. Peterson, J., Ramsay, N., Rickman, T., Robinson, M., Robison, H. Rowe, K., Rowe, K., Russello, M., Smith, A.B., Stewart, J.E.A., Thompson, W., Thorne, J.H., Watterhouse, M., Weber, S., and Wilson. 2023. Biological Conservation 282:109942.