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KODIAK: Old Plants Discovered Anew in ?Refugium?
Alaska Region, August 30, 2005
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Volunteer botanists and Kodiak Refuge staff completed a month-long survey of the Ice Age ?refugium? on the Refuge's southwestern side and discovered a dozen plants previously unknown to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Kodiak ?refugium? is a remote area of 300,000 acres within the 2 million acre Refuge that served as a 'safe harbor' for relic plants to escape the last ice age which ended 10,000 years ago. The new species include four Moonworts (Botrychium species), a tiny, fleshy fern relative; Crysosplenium Wrightii, a tiny alpine plant also found in the Alaska Range, Yukon and eastern Russia; and a lousewort (Pedicularis parviflora).

Refuge volunteers included a retired Kodiak science teacher as well as botanists from the University of Alaska/Fairbanks (UAF) Herbarium, the National Park Service and a specialist in mosses and liverworts from California. Together they collected and pressed multiple samples of 325 species of plants and 125 species of mosses and liverworts. The main collection will be curated at the UAF Herbarium, and the reference collection will be returned to Kodiak Refuge. A collection of mosses and liverworts will also be sent to UC/Davis.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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