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High Country Citizen Science Project at Glacier National Park

Participants attend a one-day classroom and field based education program, where they learn about species identification, management concerns, and how to observe and document observations of mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and pikas. They also learn how to use field equipment such as spotting scopes, compasses, and GPS receivers. Once trained, participants select survey sites from a list of mapped locations. Hiking distances to the sites range from along the roadside up to fifteen miles each way. Mountain goat and bighorn sheep surveys consist of one hour observing the selected site with binoculars and a spotting scope. During pika surveys, participants traverse talus (boulder) fields looking under rocks for pikas, pika scat, and food caches (haypiles). High country habitats are highly vulnerable to impacts from climate change, yet, little is known about how these changes may impact high elevation wildlife. Mountain goat and pika population declines have been documented in areas outside of Glacier. The primary goal of the project is to collect baseline information about population size and distribution and to monitor population trend over time.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Glacier National Park

Project Status: Periodically active - recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Classification or tagging, Finding entities, Geolocation, Identification, Learning, Measurement, Observation, Photography, Specimen/sample collection,

Start Date: 2004-03-31

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Animals, Biology, Ecology and environment, Nature and outdoors

Intended Outcomes: Programmatic, Research development, Civic and community, Individual learning, Conservation,