The Kodiak Archipelago is home to high numbers of breeding seabirds, the majority of which breed on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands administered by Alaska Maritime and Kodiak National Wildlife Refuges. Most species of seabirds are colonial and nest at high densities in a variety of coastal habitats including cliff faces, crevices, and burrows in soft soil at both mainland sites and on offshore islands and rocks. Kodiak and Alaska Maritime Refuges in conjunction with USFWS Migratory Bird Management division have periodically surveyed seabirds throughout the Archipelago.
Designated seabird colony surveys were conducted on Kodiak in 2008-2010 when 86% of the 377 documented colonies in the Archipelago were visited. Due to significant breeding population declines and disappearance of entire colonies of Arctic and Aleutian terns (Sterna paradisaea, Onychoprion aleuticus) in Prince William Sound (1999-2000 surveys) these species were targeted for monitoring on Kodiak Island during colony surveys in 2001-02 (Stephensen et al. 2002; Stephensen et al. 2003), and have remained species we focus on during breeding season surveys.
Recently data collected at seabird colonies in the Kodiak Archipelago between 1975 and 2012 were consolidated with the goal of presenting preliminary summaries:
Kodiak Seabird Colony Report.
For more information on Arctic and Aleutian Terns see our summary reports of colony monitoring:
Kodiak Aleutian Tern Counts 1975-2012.
Kodiak Aleutian Tern Surveys 2014-2015.
Kodiak Aleutian and Arctic Tern Monitoring 2016.
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Kodiak bears and Sitka black-tailed deer both eat fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), a wild herb that blooms with purple flowers in August.