20/30 The Pika is a small mammal that lives in the high altitude grasslands in mountain ranges from Japan, through central Asia and North America. Andrew Smith and his team of field biologists from Arizona State University has studied the Pika for many years on the Tibetan Plateau. It's in Tibet, he claims, they are wrongly blamed for the degrading of the grasslands by the Chinese. We have been to see Andrew Smith and have a reply from the Chinese Academy of Science.
Also in the programme: Kelvin Boot reports the status of polar plankton from a meeting (about plankton) in Plymouth.
And the Curlew - the piping call of which contributes to the soundscape of uplands in summer and estuaries in winter, are seriously in decline in Ireland, SW Scotland and Wales. By how much and why we will find out.
Presented by Brett Westwood
Produced by Mary Colwell
Editor Julian Hector.