Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Alaska Region

Icon of Blue Goose Compass. Click on the compass to view a map of the refuge (pdf)



What's happening on the Alaska Maritime Refuge? Announcements, stories, and news links will be featured here.

The Field Notes is a web page news site for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Service staff contribute brief articles about current events on their wildlife refuges or other program area.

Wildlife Refuge Plans to Address Cattle Damage to Islands

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge manager, Steve Delehanty, today announced the start of a public scoping process to identify issues and alternatives to address damage from unauthorized cattle on Wosnesenski and Chirikof Islands. Scoping will include meetings with interested federal, state, and local agencies, Federally recognized Tribes, stakeholders and the general public.

Press Release 12/5/13

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Jeff Williams on volcanic Kasatochi Island in 2011

Refuge Biologist Wins National Science Honor

Jeff Williams,of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, in a March ceremony in Atlanta received the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's highest award for Science Leadership.  Williams out competed scientists from 500 National Wildlife Refuges throughout the country as well as numerous other USFWS offices because of his,  “exceptional scientific accomplishments that have a lasting influence on the management of fish and wildlife resources”.  In addition to the honor of the award, Williams will bring back to the refuge $50,000 that will be used to maintain a field study for the summer and other biological work.

Williams, the unit biologist for refuge lands on the 1000 mile long Aleutian Islands Archipelago was noted for his work as chief scientist aboard the largest research vessel for the USFWS, the M/V Tiglax, and for spearheading the development of scientific study of the recovery of Kasatochi Island after its near annihilation in a 2008 volcanic eruption.   As chief scientist aboard the M/V Tiglax, Williams is responsible for coordinating a program of international research supported by the ship and involving a diverse group of agencies, universities and USFWS scientists.  In any given summer, the M/V Tiglax travels 15,000 nautical miles and hosts 160 scientists.  

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Homer's Twilight Zone Team: John Walsworth, Traven Apiki, Katherine Dolma, and Axel Gillam, confer on a bonus question during the 2012 "Tsunami Bowl".  Photo by Pennington Photography.

Refuge Kids Make a Splash at Tsunami Bowl

Imagine the game show Jeopardy, with 20 teams of high school students from around the state including the refuge communities of Unalaska, Seward and Homer competing to see who is the most savvy about the world’s oceans and watersheds.  This is what happens at the Tsunami Bowl held in Seward every March and at other Ocean Sciences Bowl competitions around the country.  The winning teams from the regional contests advance to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

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The largest intact collection of Japanese artillery is found on Kiska Island.  Remnants of Japanese coastal defenses are found on the Kiska and Attu portions of the Monument.  Photo Credit: Kent Sundseth/USFWS First Planning Document Available for New WWII National Monument
The Alaska Unit Foundation Statement (pdf) for World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was published in the fall of 2010 and is available for viewing on line. This document is the first step in the planning process for monument sites located on the Aleutian Islands of Attu, Kiska and Atka within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The foundation statement describes the monument’s purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, primary interpretive themes, and special mandates. It includes maps of the Alaska Unit parcels. This document will support future planning and management of the monument.

The next step in the planning process for the Alaska Unit of the monument will be to write a comprehensive management plan, with public participation. To have your name added to our Valor in the Pacific mailing list, e-mail

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Giant song sparrows are repopulating Rat Island since the rats were removed. Photo Credit:  Brad Benter/USFWS Rat Island is Officially Rat Free
Restoration for Aleutian Birds brings New Life to Refuge Island

Biologists confirmed that Rat Island, a remote island in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, is now rat-free. The report comes after two years of careful field monitoring at Rat Island, where the invasive predator decimated native bird populations by preying on eggs and chicks and altered the native ecosystem in numerous ways.

Restoring habitat on Rat Island to benefit native wildlife is the largest rat eradication ever undertaken in the Northern Hemisphere and the first in Alaska. The eradication of the non-native rats took place in September of 2008 after four years of planning. The restoration of the 10-square-mile island was accomplished by Island Conservation, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Rat Island is the most ambitious restoration effort we’ve undertaken on a refuge island, and we couldn’t have done it without our partners,” said Geoff Haskett, regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “Nearly 7,000 acres of wildlife refuge habitat has been reclaimed for native wildlife and that is an exciting result.” Read More


Refuge Photos On-Line

Over 650 images of the Alaska Maritime Refuge can be found on-line at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alaska Image Library. Type in the full name of the refuge in the search window – Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge - if you want to see them all or search by a more specific topic such as Pribilof Islands or horned puffin. All images are in the public domain and can be easily downloaded to your computer

Refuge News On-Line

Recent refuge stories from the Alaska Maritime Refuge and Fish & Wildlife offices from throughout the country can be found at the above link to the Fish & Wildlife Journal.

Alaska Science Forum Articles

In the summer of 2004, Ned Rozell, a science writer at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, accompanied the refuge ship and biologists and produced a series of articles for the Alaska Science Forum on the work of the refuge.

Ptarmigan pioneers island-hop in Aleutians

Aleutian Canada goose comeback continues

Aleutian voyage for science on the Tiglax

Rats and birds clash on volcanic island


Last updated: December 6, 2013