Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
Kodiak is composed of mountains, forests, bays, inlets and wetlands. The refuge comprises about two-thirds of Kodiak Island. In addition, the refuge encompasses a portion of Afognak Island (50,000 acres) north of Kodiak Island. Kodiak Island has an irregular coastline of bays, inlets, and rugged mountains covered with alpine vegetation.
Spruce forests dominate the northern part of Kodiak Island and the Afognak Island portion of the refuge. The interior of the refuge is covered with lush, dense vegetation. Southwestern Kodiak is covered with hummocks (knolls) of grass. No place on the 100 x 40 mile island is more than 15 miles from the sea.
Kodiak was established in 1941 to protect the habitat of the brown bear. Besides the brown bear there are only five other native land mammals on Kodiak: red fox, river otter, short-tailed weasel, little brown bat, and tundra vole. Black-tailed deer, beaver and several other species of mammals have been successfully introduced to the island. Bald eagles reside year-round on the refuge in such numbers they are in view continuously. An estimated two million seabirds inhabit the bays, inlets, and shores.
VISITOR USE: Kodiak is known worldwide for brown bear hunting. Fishing is excellent for all five species of Pacific Salmon. Wildlife observation, photography, rafting, and camping are popular activities. The island is served by commercial flights and the Alaska State Ferry system. A limited number of cabins are available.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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