Pika and climate change

understanding complex and beautiful animals


I want to continue my theme of endangered species and environmental concerns with ‘Bloomin’ Jewels’. I thought about making pikas before, but it didn’t happen. Then I saw another film of them eating flowers among other plant matters and found out that climate change is affecting them quite severely. They can only live in high attitude/cold climate and cannot go higher. So as the plants grow there, that pikas eat and store. They store food for long winter months, do not hibernate and do not migrate.

Pikas are small mammals in the same order as rabbits and hares, Lagomorpha, and there are 30 species. They are all native to cold climate, most species live on rocky mountain sides, a few burrowing species live on open steppe land. Pikas eat wide variety of plants. Forbs, grasses, sedges, shrubs, moss, lichen, twigs, needles, stems and leaves.

Sitting PikaI searched pika images and videos on the internet, drew the plants they collect, eat and store. but I could not find which species of plants they were. I made generic plants from my drawings. I made hay pile plants from copper, fresh food from silver.

I wanted make an installation, ‘Pika Habitat’. Each piece is small and insignificant but look good as a whole – and people can take and wear a piece or pieces if they wish, that are replaceable. Hopefully they would be more aware of what is it is about and remember what is happening in wild places.

>> Rie’s 2017 works