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KODIAK: Aerial Survey Indicates Bears Thriving on Aliulik Peninsula
Alaska Region, April 21, 2010
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Four Kodiak Brown Bear Cubs of the Year Catching up to their Mother, USFWS/WB Leacock
Four Kodiak Brown Bear Cubs of the Year Catching up to their Mother, USFWS/WB Leacock - Photo Credit: n/a
Isaac Bedingfield, KNWR Pilot, Conducting Aerial Survey
USFWS/WB Leacock
Isaac Bedingfield, KNWR Pilot, Conducting Aerial Survey USFWS/WB Leacock - Photo Credit: n/a
Aliulik Peninsula Intensive Aerial Survey Area, USFWS/Pyle
Aliulik Peninsula Intensive Aerial Survey Area, USFWS/Pyle - Photo Credit: n/a

In May 2009 Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologists and pilots carried out an Intensive Aerial Survey (IAS) of the brown bear population on the Aliulik Peninsula of Kodiak Island from 20 - 26 May 2009. During the 1980s biologists at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Geological Survey and Alaska Department of Fish & Game developed an aerial survey methodology based on a sightability index of brown bears which has allowed us to realize accurate population estimates across seven survey areas within the Refuge.  Harvest management has been successfully based on this approach for nearly twenty years.

 

The Aliulik Peninsula survey unit is divided into four subunits. We completed three replicates of each survey subunit within a week. Survey data indicated that the bear density in this area has increased since the last survey was conducted in 2002. The density of independent bears (not including cubs) on the Aliulik Peninsula was estimated at 282/1,000 km2 in 2009. This estimate is significantly higher than those derived from surveys conducted in 2002 (173/1,000 km2) and in 1993 (209/1,000 km2), and it suggests the population is healthy and productive.


Contact Info: William B. Leacock, (907) 487-2600 ext. 249, william_leacock@fws.gov



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