A Signature Squeak: Acoustic Features Related to Identity in American Pika Calls


  • Pamela Stuart MacEwan University


My research will explore the communication system of American Pika (Ochotona princeps). As vocalizations are established through social and vocal learning with some influence from environmental factors, they can reveal important attributes about the animal’s social and acoustic environments. American Pika may produce vocalizations that aid in individual identification and territory protection, but little research has been conducted indicating acoustic features related to identity in the calls. I will record individual calls from multiple pikas in the Highwood region of Kananaskis, Alberta. The calls will then be measured and compared to determine if any call variation exists between individuals. This exploration into call variation will further contribute to our understanding of what factors influence signature vocalizations in individual species members.

Department: Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shannon Digweed