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Seabird Colony Survey

Horned Puffin

New Report Available: Results from 2014-15 surveys of Aleutian Tern colonies available here.
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). Designated seabird colony surveys were resumed on Kodiak in 2008-2010 and 86% of the 377 documented colonies in the Archipelago were visited. Read the full report here: Kodiak Aleutian Tern Counts 1975-2012.

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, and 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.

The summary report emphasizes data collected from 2008-10 by Kodiak and Alaska Maritime NWR, which includes censuses of 86% (324 of 377) of all known seabird colonies in the Kodiak Archipelago. During this three year period over 200,000 individuals of 11 different seabird species were counted at colonies and approximately 40,000 black-legged kittiwake nests were documented. Based on data collected since 2001, the majority of colonies (66%) are small, with less than 100 birds of all seabird species combined. Less than 8% of all colonies have more than 1000 birds, however, based on recent data these 29 large colonies represent 70% of all seabirds counted in the Archipelago. Most seabird species had stable populations levels on Kodiak Island from 2001-02 to 2009-10 with the exception of declines in pigeon guillemots and horned puffins.
Last Updated: May 17, 2016
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