Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KODIAK: Surveys Find Healthy Kodiak Bear Numbers
Alaska Region, September 26, 2005
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Kodiak Refuge and Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists completed aerial surveys of brown bears on the Kiluda and Shearwater peninsulas which showed a statistically significant increase in density of bears in both areas since the last survey in 1996. The estimated number of independent bears (not including cubs) in Kiluda went from 42.6 (standard deviation = 7.8) in 1996 to 57.4 (sd = 7.4) in 2005. In the Shearwater area the estimated number of bears went from 67.6 (sd = 8.1) to 106.8 (sd = 15.5). Methods and conditions in both years were comparable. Comparison with other survey areas indicates Kiluda supports an average density of bears, while Shearwater supports a high density of bears second only to the Karluk drainage.

Pilot Alan Jones of Alaska State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Protection joined Fish and Wildlife Service pilots Butch Patterson, Bill Smoke and Don Carlson in flying biologists around this rugged terrain. Refuge staff Bill Pyle, Greg Wilker and Kevin Van Hatten along with State biologists Larry Van Daele and John Crye were primary observers. Other staff from both agencies provided additional logistical support. Kodiak Refuge and Fish and Game staff survey different areas of the Refuge annually on a rotating basis to ensure that brown bear harvest is appropriately managed.

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