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ALASKA PENINSULA/BECHAROF: Refuge Extends Habitat Mapping
Alaska Region, September 11, 2009
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In 2008, the Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge with the assistance of Ducks Unlimited, completed a land cover map for the Northern Alaska Peninsula.  The map included all land, regardless of land status, from the Naknek River to Pavlof Bay (excluding Katmai National Park because it was already mapped).  The work was completed in two phases and covered 3.8 million hectares.  Refuge staff visited 1,450 field sites by helicopter during the summers of 2005 and 2006 to collect the field data.  Because there is little forested area in this part of Alaska, the classifier was able to concentrate effort on the shrub classes dividing tall shrubs into four classes, low shrubs into five classes, and dwarf shrub into five classes.  After receiving the map, refuge staff decided they needed additional areas mapped to the north of this area to better understand habitat issues for the Northern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd, which has been in decline for more than ten years. 

 

In 2009, refuge staff collected additional field data from 168 sites to extend the map from the Naknek to the Kvichak River.  The Refuge should have the completed map extension by the summer of 2010. 

 

Field staff for the project included: Ducks Unlimited, Inc. GIS/Remote Sensing Manager Dan Fehringer, Spatial Solutions Analyst Jeff Campbell, Alaska Peninsula/Becharof Biological Technician Kristen Sesser, Alaska Peninsula/Becharof Wildlife Biologist Susan Savage, Hermens Helicopter Pilot Stan Hermens, Quicksilver Air Pilot Mike Terwilliger, and Pollux Aviation Pilot Chuck Redd.

Contact Info: Michael Brady, 907-246-1201, michael_brady@fws.gov



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