Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the Kodiak bear, salmonids, marine mammals, migratory birds, and all fish and wildlife that call the refuge home. The refuge provides important habitat to over 250 species of fish, birds, and mammals.
Only six species of land mammals occur naturally within Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. These include: Kodiak brown bear (Ursus arctus middendorffi), red fox, river otter, ermine, tundra vole, and little brown bat.
Kodiak Archipelago is also host to over 250 species of birds. A complete bird list, updated in 2021, can be found here: Kodiak Archipelago Bird Brochure.
Kodiak brown bears are a distinct subspecies from mainland brown bears; they have been isolated on the archipelago since the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. A rich variety of vegetation, salmon, and berries provide ideal habitat for bears, and their population flourishes. Kodiak's Karluk Lake drainage has one of the densest populations of bears in the world.