Refuge biologists collaborate annually with Alaska Department of Fish and Game to conduct intensive aerial surveys (IAS) during the summer months to monitor bear population, density and composition on several stream systems within the Refuge. IAS involve flying a small aircraft low over the Refuge and counting the number of bears spotted. There is only a short window of time in May each year that IAS can be completed between when bears emerge from their dens and when green-up occurs and plants obscure the line of sight from the air.


A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.


a kodiak brown bear sow with three large cubs stand on the banks of a lake
Homeland of the Alutiiq Sugpiaq peoples, Kodiak Archipelago is located in the Gulf of Alaska, 30 miles from the nearest mainland coast, across the notoriously temperamental Shelikof Strait. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge spans almost two million acres and covers more than 2/3rds of Kodiak Island,...