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Posted Sat Feb 14 2009: from Portland Oregonian:
Climate change threatens 'rock rabbits,' environmentalists say
The tiny American pika, the "boulder bunny" that chirps at hikers high in the Western mountain ranges, may join the polar bear as a victim of climate change. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide by May whether to protect the pika under the federal Endangered Species Act in a court settlement reached today in San Francisco. Environmentalists say the animal is threatened by habitat loss due to global warming. More than one-third of the pika population has vanished in Oregon, where it lives high in the Cascades and Eastern Oregon mountains. The Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice sued the government in August, saying it was dragging its heels in providing protection for the pika. The polar bear was placed last year on the endangered species list because its habitat is under assault by warming temperatures.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, global warming]

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