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A FISH AND WILDLIFE RESOURCE INVENTORY OF THE ALASKA PENINSULA, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS AND BRISTOL BAY AREAS 1977 VOLUME 1 - WILDLIFE SH 327.5 .F53 1977 V. I A FISH AND WILDLIFE RESOURCE INVENTORY OF THE ALASKA PENINSULA, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS AND BRISTOL BAY AREAS 1977 US Department of Commerce NOAA Coaj;taI Services Center Library 2234 South Hobson Avenue Charleston, SC 29405-2413 VOLUME 1 WILDLIFE 'Zft '901t- P" @[email protected]*% COASTAL ZONE INFORMATION CENTER COMPILED BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME UNDER CONTRACT TO THE ALASKA COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM - DIVISION OF POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING VOLUME 1 STUDY TEAM EDWAWD G,KLINKHART JOHN W. SCHOEN CARTOGRAPHIC STAFF SUSIE M. ELSNER PAMELA D, JOSEPH MARY Lu LARSON 1977 THIS PROJECT WAS SUPPORTED IN PART BY THE FEDERAL COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FUNDS (P.L. 92-583, SEC- TION 306), GRANTED TO THE STATE OF ALASKA BY THE OFFICE OF COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT, 'NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. VOLUME 1 - WILDLIFE TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction ................................................. 1 Moose ........................................................ 5 Unit 9.................................................. 6 Unit 17 ................................................. 9 Unit 10 ................................................. 9 Selected References ...................................... 15 Caribou ...................................................... 17 Reindeer ................................................ 25 Selected References ..................................... 29 Dall Sheep ................................................... 31 Units 9 and 17 .......................................... 31 Unit 10 ................................................. 32 Selected References ..................................... 35 Brown-Grizzly Bear ........................................... 36 Unit 9.................................................. 37 Unit 10 ................................................. 40 Unit 17 ................................................. 40 Selected References ....................................... 45 Black Bear ................................................... 47 Units 9 and 17 .......................................... 48 Unit 10 ................................................. 48 Selected References ..................................... 50 Furbearers, Small Game and Upland Game Birds ................. 51 Wolf .................................................... 53 Coyote .................................................. 59 Red Fox ................................................. 62 Arctic Fox .............................................. 66 Lynx .................................................... 69 Wolverine ............................................... 72 Marten .................................................. 78 Mink .................................................... 81 Short-tailed Weasel ..................................... 84 Least Weasel ............................................ 86 Land Otter ............................................... 88 Beaver ................................................... 91 Muskrat .................................................. 99 Marmot ................................................... 102 Arctic Ground Squirrel ................................... 104 Red Squirrel ............................................. 106 Northern Flying Squirrel ................................. 108 Porcupine ................................................ 110 Snowshoe Hare ............................................ 112 Tundra Hare .............................................. 116 Willow Ptarmigan ......................................... 119 Rock Ptarmigan ........................................... 122 White-tailed Ptarmigan ................................... 125 Spruce Grouse ............................................ 128 Ruffed Grouse ............................................ 130 Sharp-tailed Grouse ...................................... 132 Selected References ...................................... 133 Marine Mammals ................................................ 135 Harbor Seal .............................................. 138 Selected References ...................................... 142 Fur Seal ....................................... ... 143 Selected References .............................. o ....... 151 Sea Otter ........ 154 South side of the Alaska Peninsula ....................... 157 Sutwik Island ............................................ 158 Shumigan Islands ......................................... 159 Sanak Island-Sandman Reefs ............................... 160 Fox and Krenitzin Islands ................................ 161 Islands of the Four Mountains ............................ 162 Andreanof Islands ........................................ 162 Delarof and Rat Islands .................................. 163 Near Islands ............................................. 164 North side of the Alaska Peninsula ....................... 164 Pribilof Islands ......................................... 165 Selected References ...................................... 174 Sea Lion ................................................. 176 Selected References ...................................... 189 Walrus ................................................... 191 Whales ................................................... 193 Selected References ...................................... 198 Waterfowl .................................................... 200 Waterfowl Recreation and Subsistence Use .................. 200 Waterfowl Sport Hunting ................................. 200 Nonconsumptive Recreational Use ......................... 204 Subsistence Use ......................................... 205 Waterfowl Production ...................................... 206 Bristol Bay Uplands ..................................... 206 General Waterfowl Distribution ............................ 210 North Side of the Alaska Peninsula ...................... 210 North Side of Bristol Bay ............................... 220 Offshore Bird Distribution in Bristol Bay ............... 220 South Side of the Alaska Peninsula ...................... 251 Aleutian Islands ........................................ 255 Rare and Endangered Species ............................... 258 Land Classification ....................................... 261 Refuges ................................................. 261 Wilderness Areas ........................................ 262 Critical Habitats ....................................... 262 Seabirds ..................................................... 267 Appendix A. - Life Histories ................................. 292 Moose ................................................... 293 Caribou ................................................. 297 Dall Sheep .............................................. 300 Brown-Grizzly Bear ...................................... 305 Black Bear .............................................. 310 Harbor Seals ............................................ 314 Northern Fur Seals ...................................... 318 Sea Otter ............................................... 321 Sea Lion ................................................ 325 Walrus .................................................. 328 44 VOLUME 1 - WILDLIFE TABLE OF TABLES BIG GAME Table Page 1 Moose harvest and hunting pressure - Unit 9 .............. 8 2 Moose harvest - Game Management Unit 17 .................. 10 3 Moose sex and age ratios - Unit 9 ........................ 11 4 Moose sex and age ratios, 1974 - Alaska Peninsula, Unit 9 12 5 Moose sea and age composition, 1974 - Unit 9 ............. 13 6 Sex and age composition of the Port Moller, Naknek River portion of the Alaska Peninsula herd, July 9-12 and - Novenber 4-5, 1975 ...................................... 20 7 Sex and age composition of the Cold Bay, Port Moller portion of the Alaska Peninsula caribou herd, July 1975.. 21 8 Adak caribou herd, population and mortality 1958-1974 .... 24 9 Count of reindeer, St. Paul Island, Alaska, 1951-1976 .... 27 10 Historic harvest of legal rams in Unit 9 ................. 33 11 Historic harvest of legal rams in Unit 17 ................ 33 12 Yearly bear sport harvest 1961-1975 Unit 9 ............... 39 13 Yearly bear sport harvest 1961-1975 Unit 10 .............. 41 14 Yearly bear sport harvest 1961-1975 Unit 17 .............. 43 FURBEARERS, SMALL GAME AND UPLAND GAME BIRDS Table Page 1 Wolf harvest in Units 9, 10 and 17 ....................... 55 2 1974-1975 Wolf harvest, Unit 9 ........................... 56 Table Page 3 1974-1975 Wolf harvest, Unit 17 ......................... 57 4 Wolverine harvest Units 9, 10 and 17 .................... 74 5 1974-1975 Wolverine harvest, Unit 9 ..................... 75 6 1974-1975 Wolverine harvest, Unit 17 .................... 76 7 Beaver harvest statistics for Unit 9, 1969-1975 ......... 94 8 Beaver harvest statistics for Unit 17, 1960-1975 ........ 96 9 Aerial beaver cache surveys, GMU 17, 1974-1975 .......... 97 MARINE MAMMALS Table 1 Harbor seal pup harvest, 1965-1968 ....................... 139 2 Observations of harbor seals - June 1975 ................ 141 3 Kill of fur seals on the Pribilof Islands 1871-1975 ..... 148 4 Numbers of sea otters transplanted 1955-1970 ............ 156 5 Sightings of sea otters - Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay ................................. 166 6 Sea lion harvests in Alaska ............................. 179 7 Summary of sea lion rookery and hauling ground counts ... 182 14ATERFOWL Table 1 Waterfowl sport hunting statistics by location, Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands .................................. 203 2 Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands average breeding duck populations, population densities and estimated fall duck flights, 1957-1975, 19 year average ................ 208 Table Page 3 Quantity of various habitat types for the major estuaries of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula.. 213 4 Quantity of various habitat types for the outside beach of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula ...... 214 5 Ducks and geese -found in estuaries of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island by aerial survey ........................................ 215 6 Total number of birds observed in estuaries during aerial surveys of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, October 1975 .............................. 216 7 Total number of birds observed during aerial surveys along beach of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, October 1975 .............................. 217 8 Summary of bird observations in estuaries of the Alaska Peninsula, aerial surveys, October 13-16, 1976 218 9 Quantity of various habitat types for the beach of the north side of Bristol Bay, Kvichak River to Cape Newenham and Walrus Islands ..................... 221 10 Ducks and geese found in bays of the north side of Bristol Bay by aerial survey ......................... 222 11 Bristol Bay waterfowl survey- October 1969 ........... 226 12 Calculated population and densities of birds and mammals in Bristol Bay, May 1972 ..................... 231 13 Calculated total populations of birds in Bristol Bay, April 9-13, 1973 ................................ 232 14 Transect number and area, approximate area covered, and mean number of birds observed on a pelagic bird survey in the Unimak-Izembek and Port Moller regions of Bristol Bay, July 30-31, 1976 ..................... 249 15 Densities and expanded population size of sixteen species of birds observed on pelagic bird surveys in the Unimak-Izembek and Port Moller regions of Bristol Bay, July 30-31, 1976 ................................ 250 Table Page 16 Ducks and geese found in bays of the south side of the Alaska Peninsula by aerial survey ............ 254 17 Miscellaneous bird observations on habitat mapping flights on Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian shelf, October 1976 ........................................ 256 18 Known sea bird colonies - south side Alaska Peninsula ........................................... 268 19 Known sea bird colonies - Bristol Bay ............... 277 20 Known sea bird colonies - Aleutian Islands .......... 283 VOLUME I - WILDLIFE TABLE OF FIGURES BIG GAME Figure Page 1 Distribution - Moose ............................... 14 2 Distribution - Caribou ............................. 28 3 Distribution - Dall Sheep .......................... 34 4 Distribution - Brown Bear .......................... 44 5 Distribution - Black Bear .......................... 49 FURBEARERS, SMALL GAME AND UPLAND GAME BIRDS Figure 1 Distribution - Wolf ................................ 58 2 Distribution - Coyote .............................. 61 3 Distribution - Red Fox ............................. 65 4 Distribution - Arctic Fox .......................... 68 5 Distribution - Lynx ................................ 71 6 Distribution - Wolverine ........................... 77 7 Distribution - Marten .............................. 80 8 Distribution - Mink ................................ 83 9. Distribution - Short-tailed Weasel ................. 85 10 Distribution - Least Weasel ........................ 87 11 Distribution - Land Otter .......................... 90 12 Distribution - Beaver .............................. 98 13 Distribution - Muskrat ............................. 101 14 Distribution - Marmot .............................. 103 Figure Page 15 Distribution - Arctic Ground Squirrel .............. 105 16 Distribution - Red Squirrel ...... It'? .............. 107 17 Distribution - Flying Squirrel ...................... 109 18 Distribution - Porcupine ........................... ill 19 Distribution - Snowshoe Hare ....................... 115 20 Distribution - Tundra Hare .................. I ....... 118 21 Distribution - Willow Ptarmigan .................... 121 22 Distribution - Rock Ptarmigan ...................... 124 23 Distribution - White-tailed Ptarmigan .............. 127 24 Distribution Spruce Grouse ....................... 12 9 25 Distribution Sharp-tailed and Ruffed Grouse ...... 131 WATERFOWL Figure 1 North side of Alaska Peninsula - Scotch Cap to Cape Horn ........... I ............................... 219 2 North Bristol Bay - Cape Newenham to Kvichal River. 223 3 Transects flown in October 1969 .................... 224 4 Transects along which observations of pelagic birds were made in Bristol Bay for the periods 13 to 31 July and 1 to 20 August 1969 ....................... 227 5 Distribution and numbers of birds observed in Bristol Bay alorg 20-mile segments and sightings of birds from land, 13 July to 20 August 1969 ......... 228 6 Per square mile densities of birds in Bristol Bay, May 1972 ........................................... 235 Figure Page 7 Aerial transects for marine mammal-bird survey, southern Bristol Bay, July 30-31, 1976 .............. 248 8 South side of Alaska Peninsula - Scotch Cap to Cape Douglas ........................................ 252 18 17 PRIBILOF IS. @o 10 10 PAC I ALF- ALEUT14N ISLANDS ALASKA CQ 0 lo o C. GAME MANAGEMENT UNITS INTRODUCTION The Alaska Peninsula-Aleutian Islands-Bristol Bay-Pribilof region contains some of the most abundant wildlife populations found anywhere in the world. This region includes the area from Cape Igvak on the Alaska Peninsula southwestward 1,500 [email protected] to Attu Island, all of Bristol Bay west to Cape Newenham, including the drainages to the north and the Pribilof Islands. The north shore of the Alaska Peninsula (GMU 9) shelves off grad- ually into the shallow waters of the Bering Sea, forming a low coastal plain with a comparatively even coastline. Farther inland, however, the land rises to the rugged volcanic Aleutian Range, which runs the length of the Peninsula. On the south side of the Peninsula the ocean floor drops off more sharply into the deeper water of the North Pacific. Accordingly, the south shore is irregular and rugged with bays, head- lands and offshore rocks and is fringed by offshore islands - notably the Kodiak-Afognak, Semidi, Shumigan and Sanak Islands groups. This side of the Peninsula has a maritime climate, with twice the preci- pitation of the Bristol Bay side. The Alaska Peninsula has frequently been called a "sportsman's paradise". It is here that the brown bear occurs in abundance; some 20,000 barren ground caribou roam the tundra; moose thrive throughout' the area; and each year millions of waterfowl utilize the lakes, ponds and marshes of the Peninsula. Extending in an 1,100 mile arc to the west of the Alaska Peninsula are the Aleutian Islands (GMU 10). These islands form a chain sep- arating the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. The Aleutian Islands 1 have a maritime climate characterized by persistently overcast skies and frequent, often violent, cyclonic storms. Weather can be very local, with conditions of fog, low ceilings, precipitation, and clear weather all encountered in a distance of a few miles. It is thought by many that no other area in the world has weather worse than the Aleutian Islands. The flora and fauna of the Aleutian Islands are composed of species from both the North American and Asian continents, with many plant species being combinations of each. The Chain is treeless except for a few spruce introduced by the Russians in 1805 and by the Americans during W.W. II. The eastern Aleutians have a fauna typical of the Alaska mainland while the western islands are more typically Asiatic. A total of 183 avian species and races have been recorded for the Aleutian Islands and adjacent waters (Sekora 1973). Of special significance are the large numbers of sea birds and the endangered Aleutian Canada Goose. Sea otter, seals, sea lions and whales inhabit both adjacent waters and the islands rocks and beaches. Foxes, caribou, reindeer and domestic cattle occur on many of the islands. The Aleutians were once the home of 15,000 to 20,000 Aleuts, but they were severely decimated following the Russian discovery of the islands in 1741. Today only six villages exist in the Aleutian chain, they are Atka, Nikolski, Unalaska, Akutan, False Pass and Paulof Harbor. The Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1913. The boundaries of the refuge today includes all of the Aleutian Islands west of False Pass, encompassing Amak Island, Sea Lion Rocks and the Sanak Island group, except for Akun, Akutan, Sanak, Tigalda, Umnak, Unalaska and Sedanka Islands. The refuge was established with the objectives of preserving the breeding grounds for native birds, 2 for the propagation of reindeer and furbearing animals and for the encouragement and development of the offshore fisheries. Game Management Unit 17 and the northern portion of Unit 9 make up the Bristol Bay drainages. Here the Mulchatna, Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers flow through gently sloping hills and broad valleys into Bristol Bay. Wet tundra, with numerous lakes and marshes, is common along much of the low coastal area. Dry tundra occurs in the uplands to 1,200 ft. elevation. A broad band of alder, willow and dense tall grass, sep- arates the two types along the length of the western side of the Aleutian Range. A herd of about 15,000 caribou ranges throughout some 20,000 square miles of Units 9 and 17. Brown bear, moose and a few sheep may also be found here. The greatest concentration of beaver found anywhere in Alasl,@a occur in Unit 17. The maps with this report identify seasonal distribution and move- ments, high density areas, critical habitat zones and areas of parti- cular concern. Map coverage includes the coastal waters, beach fringes and uplands which have a direct or significant impact on the wildlife resources of the area. Big game information is included here only if it is new or in addition to that presented in Alaska's Wildlife and Habitat. Raptor nesting distribution is presented on a state-wide basis. The accompanying wildlife narrative provides additional information relative to big game, furbearers, small game, waterfowl, seabirds and marine mammals shown on the maps. Narrative accounts of life histories are restricted to information specific to area and species. General life histories for big game and marine mammals may be found in Appendix A. Recreational and subsistence information by area and type of user, and distribution and abundance as related to habitat zones is presented foreach species. Although not included in this report, it is important to recognize that many species of birds and small mammals inhabitat this region. Some species such as the microtine rodents are a food source of many mammals and birds. These species play an important part in the total ecosystem. It is imperative that those who use this report recognize that wild- life populations are a viable, ever-changing resource. The information contained herein is as up to date as possible, but changing land tenure, human use and development and a multitude of natural factors require that our data be continuously gathered and updated. Most of the wildlife information in this report was obtained from Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists who reside in the area. Additional contributions were made by other staff members and from members of other wildlife resource agencies. These contributions are greatfully acknowledged. MOOSE The moose (Alces alces), which has a circumboreal distribution, is an animal of the northern forests. In Alaska they range throughout most of the state except the southeastern portion and coastal islands. Moose most frequently inhabit regions of second-growth hardwood forests, timberline plateaus and areas along major river systems. The Alaskan subspecies (Alces alces gigas is the largest subspecies of moose, which is the largest member of the deer family (Cervidae). Calving occurs in late spring usually around the first of June. At this time pregnant cows seek out isolation for the birth of their calves. This usually occurs near riparian or muskeg areas. First year breeders usually produce a single calf, but after that about 60 percent of the cows produce twins. The productivity in any given area, however, is directly related to the physical condition of the cow which in turn reflects the local range conditions. Calf mortality is often quite high during the first six weeks following parturition. During this period and through summer moose forage on water associated vegetation, grasses, sedges, forbs and the leaves of hardwoods, primarily birch, willow and aspen. During summer moose are usually widely dispersed and solitary. The rut or breeding season occurs during late September and Oct- ober. On good range yearling cows may breed. Yearling cows*in less than optimum condition may not breed however, until they are two and a half years old. During fall and winter moose utilize the annual growth of hardwoods particularly willow, aspen and birch. Winter and early spring is a critical period for moose as forage quality and quantity are generally low and consequently mortality is usually high at this time. 5 This may be further compounded by severe weather, poor range conditions and high predator populations. Although moose may move from 20 to 40 miles distance during the year they are generally considered sedindary compared to species such as caribou or elk. In general moose prefer forest habitats in early to mid succesional stages of development such as those resulting from fire or timber harvest. Unit 9 Although moose are considered relative newcomers to the Alaska Peninsula, early reports (Osgood, 1904) suggest that in the late 1800's they were present as far west as Bear lake near Port Moller. They may have been periodically eliminated from major portions of the peninsula by cataclysmic volcanic eruptions. As conditions stabilized and vegetation became reestablished, moose reappeared, thus giving rise to the hypothesis of recent western movement. The populations between Iliamna and Mother Goose Lakes apparently increased rapidly from the late 1940's through the mid-1950's. The population expansion below Mother Goose Lake continued into the early 1960's. Currently moose densities are highest along rivers and their head- waters from King Salmon-Egegik Rivers to and including the Meshik River. Direct counts of selected areas have included over 2,000 animals in past years although a current (1976) estimate places the total population at approximately 5,000 moose: 1,500 north of King Salmon and 3,500 south of King Salmon (Jim Faro, Area Biologist, A.D.F.&G., King Salmon, pers. comm.). Throughout the central portion of Unit 9 moose numbers have reached or possibly exceeded the carrying capacity of the range. This has resulted in a population decline where calf production is very 6 low. There is also heavy predation by brown bear in this area (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). In the northern portion of Unit 9 moose populations currently appear to be stable. Moose have just recently begun to appear south of Port Moller. Throughout Unit 9 seasonal movements reflect forage availability and snow depths. Most of these movements are of an altitudinal nature except in the Cook Inlet region where moose often move to the northwest side of the peninsula to winter then return to the Cook Inlet drainages in May. Critical moose habitat includes high well drained areas of willow and cottonwoood and riparian areas. Seasonal concentrations occur throughout the unit in restricted areas. In winter moose range almost to the Bering Sea beach. Thus this region is an important winter range area. In 1975 the Unit 9 moose harvest was 232, a decrease of three fold from the previous year's harvest [email protected] 705 (see Table 1. ). This was'the result of a greatly reduced season (August 20 - December 31 in 1974 to September 20 - September 30 in 1975) and no antlerless season in 1975. A Bristol Bay subsistence report by the Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research at the University of Alaska estimated the total annual subsistence harvest at 311 moose for Units 9 and 17. Unit 9 has traditionally been Alaska's most productive area for large bull moose. This area sustains a high proportion of non-resident hunting pressure every year. About one-half of the moose harvest reported in this unit is taken by non-residents. This area is receiving increasing pressure from Anchorage hunters as moose populations Table 1. Moose harvest and hunting *pressure - Unit 9 Percent Year Bulls Cows Unid. Total Hunters Success % Non-Resident 1964 185 64 0 249 1965 213 68 4 285 -- -- 1966 240 75 8 323 519 62.2 1967 301 68 9 378 509 74.3 1968 366 72 5 443 583 76.0 1969 317 70 6 393 527 74.6 47.6 1970 266 84 2 352 457 77.0 1971 317 116 7 440 591 74.5 41.4 1972 454 91 11 556 773 71.9 50.7 1973 607 206 25 839 1,175 71.4 36.0 1974 520 167 18 705 1,072 65.8 43.2 1975 222 0 10 232 436 53.2 around this, and other cities, continues to decline. Only 27 percent of resident hunters that reported were from the Alaska Peninsula. Nonconsumptive use of moose in this unit is relatively minor. Viewing and photography occur from June to October on the headwaters of the King Salmon River in Katmai National Monument. Unit 17 The current (1976) population estimate for moose in unit 17 is approximately 700 animals (Jim Faro, Area Biologist, A.D.F.&G., King Salmon, pers. comm.). This population is considered relatively stable and no changes in distribution have occurred. Critical habitats and seasonal movements are generally similar to those discribed for Unit 9. The Unit 17 moose harvest for 1975 was 115 animals a substantial increase over the 1974 harvest of 69 animals (see Table 2. This increase is the result of growing recreational trophy hunting pressure. Throughout this unit moose have been eradicated near the villages due to intensive hunting pressure. This intensive pressure is now being directed at more remote populations. Noncomsumptive use of moose in this unit is relatively minor. Unit 10 Moose do not occur in this unit. Table 2 Moose harvest - Game Management Unit 17. Year Bulls Females Unknown Sex Total 1964 31 1** 32 1965 41 1** 42 1966 25 1** 26 1967 37 1 28 1968 45 1 46 1969 11 1** 3 15 1970 23 2 25 1971 36 1 37 1972 35 3 38 1973 39 2 1 42 1974 65 2 2 69 1975 87 2 89 No legal cow season. 0 0 .0 Table 3 . Moose sex and age ratios - Unit 9. Total Smal I Sm. PIM Sm. MM Sm. MM Calves Twins per. Calf Moose MM per MM per per 100 % in per 100 per 100 100 FF % in per Total Year 100 FF 100 FF Lg. MM Herd MM Calves FF w/calf Herd Hour Sample Nov., 1962 99.4 19.0 23.6 8.2 115.2 33.0 24.4 14.2 91.0 1,113 Nov., 1963 62.1 11.9 23.7 6.4 97.5 24.4 17.5 13.1 104.0 1,852 Nov., 1964 67.8 11.8 21.2 6.4 137.7 17.2 9.9 9.3 146.0 1 312 1965* - - - - - - - - - - Nov., 1966 73.5 13.9 23.3 6.6 85.9 32.4 16.3 15.4 96.0 786 Oct., 1967 73.0 14.0 23.0 7.0 121.0 24.0 30.0 12.0 89.0 1,447 Oct. ,1968 63.3 9.1 15.7 4.8 84.7 21.3 19.1 11.1 163.9 1,619 Nov. ,1969 53.9 18.7 52.9 10.3 148.8 25.1 14.1 13.9 65.0 620 Nov. & Dec., 1970 44.9 14.7 48.7 9.4 118.8 12.4 11.3 7.9 93.2 1,016 Oct.. & Nov., 1971 46.8 11.2 31.6 7.1 219.7 10.2 4.5 6.5 105.9 1,091 Nov. & Dec., 1972 51.0 11.8 30.1 7.1 170.0 13.9 6.8 8.4 91.3 954 Dec., 1973 30.5 5.1 20.3 3.7 119.0 8.6 11.1 6.2 65.1 677 Nov., 1974 23.0 5.6 32.6 4.1 83.5 13.5 5.3 9.9 91.0 1,402 Sex and age composition counts were not conducted in 1965 PREPARED BY: @James B. -Faro, Game Biologist Table 4 . Moose sex and age ratios, 1974 - Alaska Peninsula - Unit 9 Total Sma I I Small MM Sm. MM Small MM Calves Twins per Calf Moose MM per MM per per 100 % in per 100 per 100 100 FF % in per Total Trend Area 100 FF 100 FF Large MM Herd MM Calves FF w/calf Herd Hour Sample Mother Goose 15.3 4.1 36.4 3.1 57.1 14.3 3.7 11.0 62.0 254 Pacific 45.8 1.4 3.0 .9 66.7 4.2 0 2.8 98.2 108 Katmai 34.6 7.6 28.1 5.0 83.7 18.1 7.7 11.9 154.0 362 Cinder River 28.7 7.4 35.0 4.9 66.7 22.3 10.5 14.8 94.7 142 Flats 12.5 3.9 45.8 3.2 66.7. 11.8 3.1 9.5 183.1 348 Meshik River 12.8 2.6 25.0 2.0 40.0 12.8 0 10.2 24.5 49 Dog Salmon River 22.0 11.0 100.0 8.6 400.0 5.5 0 4.3 63.2 139 TOTALS 23.0 5.6 32.6 4.1 83.5 13.5 5.3 9.9 91.0 1,402 PREPARED BY: James B. Faro, Game Biologist Table 5 Moose sex and age composition - 1974 - Unit 9 Unid. Trend Lg. Sill. Total FF FF FF Total Total Total Sex & Total Area Date MM MM MM W/o W/I W/2 FF Adults Calves Age Sample Mother Goose Nov.15 22 8 30 169 26 1 196 226 28 0 254 Pacific Nov.16 32 1 33 69 3 0 72 105 3 0 108 Katmai Nov.18 64 18 82 198 36 3 237 319 43 0 362 Cinder River Nov.20 20 7 27 75 17 2 94 121 21 0 142 Flats Nov.20 24 11 35 248 31 1 280 315 33 0 348 W Meshik River Nov.23 4 1 5 34 5 0, 39 44 5 0 49 Dog Salmon River Nov.23 12 12 24 103 6 0 109 133 6 0 139 TOTALS 178 58 236 896 124 7 1,027 1,263 139 0 1,402 PREPARED BY: James B. Faro, Game Biologist ............. .............. . ............. ............ .............. .................. ....... ... ................. . ....... .. ...... ..... FIGURE .......... . .......... DISTRIBUTION M 0 0 S E ............... ....... ............ ....... ......... .... ...... 67 . .......... .. ........... ............ PRIBILOF IS. ........ .. ......... . . . ......... . ......... . ......... . ......... .... ... .......... ....... ... [email protected] nq pa PA % 0 IS c::) Q> C) ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 D" MOOSE - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. 563 maps. 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. 1 - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Bishop, R. 1969. Moose report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-3. Burris, 0. E. and D. E. McKnight. 1973. Game transplants in Alaska. Dept. of Fish and Game. Game Tech. Bull. No. 4. 57 pp. Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1952. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 284 pp. Faro, J. B. 1970. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-2. 1971. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Came. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-3. 1974. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept.of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-5. 1975. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. 1976. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Franzmann, A. W. and P. D. Arneson. 1973. Moose research center studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. No. w-17-5. 1974. Moose research center studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. No. W-17-6. et al. 1974. Development and testing of new techniques for moose management. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Hall R. E. and K. R. Kelson. 1959. The mammals of North America. Roland Press. New York. Vol. I and 11. 1,083 pp. 15 Manville, R. H. and S. P. Young. 1965. Distribution of Alaskan mammals. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. Cir. 211. 74 pp. Murie, 0. J. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. N. Am. Fauna. No. 61. U.S. Dept. of Agr. 406 pp. Neiland, K. A. 1974. Moose disease report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. No. W-17-4, 5, 6. Osgood, W. H. 1904. A biological reconnaissance of the base of the Alaska Peninsula. N. Am. Fauna. No. 24. U.S. Dept. of Int. 86 pp. Rausch, R. A. 1964. Summary of moose investigations. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Typed. Unpub. 27 pp. 1965. Moose status report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Type. Unpub. 1967. Report on 1965-66 Moose studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proi. No. W-15-1. and R. Bishop. 1968. Report of 1966-67 moose studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. No. W-15-R-2 and W-15-R-3. The moose in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. VanWormer, J. 1972. The world of the moose. J. B. Lippincott Co., New York. 160 pp. Walker, E. P. et al. 1964. Mammals of the world. John's Hopkins Press. Baltimore. Vol. I and 11. 1,500 pp. CARIBOU The barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus) is primarily an animal of the northern tundra. This species ranges throughout the entire state of Alaska except for most islands and the southeastern portion of the state. Caribou often occur in large herds which display wide ranging migratory movements. A general knowledge of these movements is helpful in assessing how caribou utilize their environment. The annual cycle of caribou in Alaska has been described by Hemming (1971). Caribou are on the move throughout most of the year. Migrations between summer and winter ranges are usually over well defined routes especially in larger herds. Animals are most dispersed during both late summer and midwinter. During late winter and early spring cows and calv'es start to aggregate and slowly move toward the calving ground. During this period the cow-calf bond breaks. Most calving occurs around the first of June with cows, three years and older, producing a single calf. After calving the cows and new calves form large groups while males and yearlings usually remain segregated from the cows. During summer caribou consume a wide variety of forage species including leaves of willow and dwarf birch, grasses, sedges and forbs. At this time insects often keep caribou agitated and clumped together. By fall caribou begin to move toward their winter ranges where their diet is limited primarily to lichens and sedges. It is usually during this move that breeding takes place. Caribou inhabiting the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Island region represent the Alaska Peninsula herd, the southern portion of the Mulchatna 17 herd and populations inhabiting two Aleutian Islands, Unimak and Adak. The history of caribou on the Alaska Peninsula is incomplete and some confusion exists because reported changes in populations may only reflect shifts in caribou distribution. Russian travelers and explorers of the 1700's provided the first record of caribou on the Peninsula. They reported large populations to the south of Port Moller and on outlying islands. During the 1800's this population apparently expanded northward to occupy the entire Peninsula. It was during this period that migrations regularly crossed the Kvichak River. The population peaked between 1872 and 1874 and then declined. Following this peak, animals remained abundant in the northern portion, but few caribou were found on the southern tip or outlying islands and migrations across the Kvichak River ceased. By the early 1900's populations had again reached high levels on the southern tip of the Peninsula and the outlying islands, but the northern sub-populations had declined. The June 1912 eruption of Mt. Katmai covered that area of the Peninsula with ash and had a severe effect upon caribou habitat. In 1925, Olaus Murie estimated 2,500 caribou south of Port Moller, and 7,000 on Unimak Island, but made no mention of caribou on the northern portion of the Peninsula (Murie, 1935). During the 1930's, the herd expanded to the north, but climatic conditions severely reduced the total number of animals. Heavy snows, followed by freezing rains were reported for the winters of 1930-31, 33- 34, and 38-39 (Alaska Game Commission, 1925-1948, and Burdick, 1940). Under these conditions ice overlays made it nearly impossible for caribou to forage. Consequently, a large number of caribou were reported to have died during these winters. Reindeer herding existed in the northern Peninsula during the early 20th century. In 1942, the Alaska native Service estimated 6,500 reindeer for the Naknek-Egegik area. However, herding ceased about 1943, and the untended animals scattered. Most of the reindeer were assimilated into the Peninsula caribou herds. Even with the influx of the feral reindeer, caribou populations were reported at their lowest recorded level. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey in 1949 estimated only 2,500 animals, 2,000 in the northern portion and 500 on the southern tip with none on Unimak Island. Four causes for this decline have been suggested: (1) climate, (2) predation, (3) excessive harvest, and (4) disease (Hammond, undated). Following the low population level of the late 1940's, the herd began to grow. By 1953, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated a population of 4,999 caribou. In 1964, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimated 10,300 caribou on the Peninsula and 1,400 on Unimak Island. A 1968 census by the State, estimated 12,500 for the Peninsula, and 1,500 for Unimak Island, for a total population of 14,000 caribou. Currently, the Alaska Peninsula caribou herd ranges south of the Naknek river and is comprised of three sub-populations. The largest, herd, estimated in 1975 at a minimum of 10,342 caribou (Irvine, 1976), ranges between the Naknek River and Port Moller. The current estimate for this herd is in the range of 13,000 to 20,000 (Jim Faro, A.D.F.&G., Area Biologist, King Salmon, pers. comm.). The majority of the calving occurs south of Port Heiden Bay and near the mouth of the Cinder River. The current sex and age composition for this herd is presented in Table 6. Table 6 Sex and age composition of the Port Moller, Naknek River portion of the Alaska Peninsula herd, July 9-12 and November 4-5, 1975.* Males/ Calves/ Sample Date 100 females 100 females Calves Cows M Bulls size 7/9-12 24.2 49.2 667 (26.8) 1357 (56.9) 329 (16.3) 2025 11/4-5 33.0 44.6 602 (25.1) 1349 (56.3) 445 (18.6) 2396 From Irvine, 1976 Following calving, the herd scatters: The males to the hills of the Aleutian Range, and the females and calves to the Beririg Sea Flats. In late August and early September, they begin a northward movement to the wintering grounds. This area lies between the Egegik and the Naknek Rivers. Except for a few scattered animals, few caribou are recorded to have crossed the Naknek River since major migrations ceased in the late 1870's. They begin moving south to the calving areas in late March or early April, arriving in early May. Prior year-round hunting seasons and liberal bag limits, have subjected this sub-population to constant hunting pressure. The esti- mated annual harvest is 2,000 animals. Fall trophy hunting, selective for bulls, has affected the herd sex ratio; in 1970 there were 48.3 bulls per 100 cows, and 1975 there were 33.0 bulls per 100 cows. A spring 1975 survey located 2,627 caribou ranging between Port Moller and False Pass (Irvine, 1976). These animals comprise the second sub-population of the Alaska Peninsula herd which is currently estimated at 5,000 animals (Jim Faro, pers. commi.). No migratory pattern is presently defined for this group, but they calve near the Caribou River and in the Black Hills. The current sex and age composition of this herd is presented in Table 7. Due to the remoteness of the area, these animals are lightly harvested. Residents of Nelson Lagoon and Cold Bay exert the primary hunting pressure. Some animals are taken by trophy hunters in the fall. The yearly estimated harvest is less than 150 caribou. Table 7. Sex and age composition of the Cold Bay, Port Moller portion of the Alaska Peninsula caribou herd, July 13.* Males/ Calves/ Sample Date 100 females 100 females Calves Cows Bulls size 7/13 19.8 49.0 235 (29.0) 480 (59.3) 95 (11.7) 810 From Irvine, 1976 The remaining sub-population is found on Unimak Island. Due to the remoteness of the area, few data have been collected. Calving has been observed on the south west coast between Pogromni Volcano and Eickelberg Peak, but other calving grounds may exist. A Department of Fish and Came survey in October 1971 counted 4,391 animals. A spring 1975 photo census located 3,334 caribou (Irvine, 1976). Both surveys are considered incomplete and the population is currently estimated at 5,000 animals (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). Hunting pressure is light, and restricted almost entirely to the residents of Cold Bay and False Pass. The animals north of the Kvichak River are called the Mulchatna caribou herd. This emerged as a distinct population in the mid 1870's when crossing of'the Kvichak River ceased (a recent crossing of about 2,500 animals occurred in 1972, near Igiugi-). The herd ranges through 21 portions of GMU's 9, 16, 17, and 19. The primary habitat appears to be centered around the Mulchatna River with most calving occurring north of the Bonanza Hills. An aerial census of the calving grounds in 1974 identified 13,079 animals. The Mulchatna herd is currently (1976) estimated at 15,000 animals (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). Extensive trophy hunting has only recently been directed at these animals and the herd has primarily provided subsistence hunting for local villages. This limited trophy hunting is reflected by the 1974 ratio of 55 males to 100 females. Since caribou can be hunted the same day the hunter has been airborne in Units 9 and 17 between January 1 and March 31, the herd was heavily hunted by Anchorage area residents during the early months of 1974 and 1975. The introduction and current status of caribou on Adak Island in the central Aleutians has been described by Burris and McKnight (1973). In response to a request from the National Military Establishment in 1958, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the military cooperated in a project to transplant caribou to Adak Island (Jones, 1966). The Fish and Wildlife Service supplied personnel to capture the caribou and to supervise the project while the military provided transportation, Because of the expense and difficulty involved in transplanting adult animals, it was decided to capture newborn calves and hand-raise them until they were self-sufficient (Jones, 1966). The calves were captured from the Nelchina herd using Air Force helicopters and transported in Navy cargo aircraft to Adak, a distance of nearly 1,400 miles. The calves were reared on Adak Island by military personnel from the Marine Is 22 Barracks and the Special Service Department of the Navy Base. Initial mortality of calves was very high with most loss occurring within the first two weeks (Jones, 1966). Mortality was 68 percent in 1958 and 69 percent in 1959. Two-thirds of the loss occurred within the first 48 hours. In 1958, 31 calves were captured and ten were released (seven females and three males). Forty-five were captured in 1959 and 14 released (five males and nine females). By 1967, the population was estimated at 189 animals (Hemming, 1971). At latest report (fall 1972) this herd had expanded to 347 animals. Adak caribou apparently have achieved optimal growth and an adult bull weighing 700 pounds (whole body weight) was killed in 1968 (Hemming, 1971). In an attempt to hold the population below the critical level on Adak, the Board of Fish and Game authorized the first hunting season for the period August 15-August 25, 1964. Under the s'tipulations of this hunt, 10 permits were issued for the taking of bull caribou only. In 1965, the season was lengthened to 17 days and the bag limit changed to one bull with no permit requirement. Another change in 1966 set a limit of 30 caribou, but allowed the taking of either sex. In 1967, the allotment was raised to 50 animals of either sex and a bag limit of two caribou was established. The objective of the management plan for the Adak caribou herd is to hold the population at between 200 and 250 animals by harvesting approximately 50 animals annually. In late 1972 it became apparent that this harvest was inadequate to maintain the population at the desired level and efforts were made to attain a larger kill. Total population and mortality figures for the Adak herd are presented in Table 8. 23 Table 8. Adak caribou herd, population and mortality 1958 - 1974. Winter Natural Hunting Year Population Mortality* Mortality* 1958 10 1 0 1959 23 1 0 1960 - 0 0 1961 - 1 0 1962 36 0 0 1963 43 0 0 1964** 65 1 4 1965** 87 8 2 1966** 106 3 18 1968** 163 3 55 1969** 167 0 51 1970** 214 0 53 197111* 230 3 45 1972** 347 1 98 1973** 230(est. Post 0 108 Hunting population) 1974** 264(est. Post 0 93 Hunting population) Essentially, all natural mortality was due to entanglement in wire prior to 1969. Allowable harvest: 1964 - 10; 1965 - 30; 1967 - 50; 1968 - 50; 1969 - 50; 1970 - 50; 1971 - 50 plus 20 more; 1972 - 50 plus 97 more; 1973 - 140; 1974 70 plus 48 more. Source - Sexton, 1976, A.D.F.&G., Survey Inventory Rept. 24 REINDEER Reindeer were first introduced to Alaska from Siberia in 1892. Since then numerous transplants have taken place throughout the state. Reindeer were introduced to Atka Island in the central Aleutians in 1914. It was recently reported (Sekora, 1973) that there were between 2,500 and 3,500 animals inhabiting that island. There are currently no closed seasons or limits on this herd although less than 200 reindeer are harvested, primarily by Atkans, annually. Reindeer were introduced to Umnak.in the western Aleutians in the early part of the century. Sheep owners attempted to eliminate those animals which were competing with sheep, but caribou were still present in 1937 (Murie, 1959). Jones, former refuge manager for the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, estimated (pers. comm.) that there were approximately 7,000 reindeer on Umnak about ten years ago. Al- though the current status is unknown, Jones estimated that there are probably in excess of 2,000 animals. Reindeer also occur on Hagemeister Island in Bristol Bay where they are privately managed by the village of Togiak (Department of Interior, 1973). The current population is estimated at between 200 and 300 animals (Rae Baxter, A.D.F.&G., Fisheries Biologist, Bethel, pers. comm.). In 1911 forty reindeer were indroduced into the Pribilof Islands by the United States government. The history of this introduction leading up to 1950 has been documented by Scheffer (1951). Four males and 21 females were released on St. Paul Island, while three males and 3.2 females were released on St. George. The following spring 17 and 11 offspring were produced on St. Paul and St. George respectively. Predators were not present on either island and the herds increased. By 1922 the 25 St. George herd had reached a maximum population of 222 reindeer. This herd then declined and was extinct by the early 1950's (Hajny, Resource Management Specialist for the Pribilof Islands, National Marine Fisheries Service, pers. comm.). The St. Paul herd continued to grow slowly until it erupted in the early 1930's. The peak was reached in the 1938 when the population numbered in excess of 2,000 animals. By 1950, 12 years later, it had crashed to eight animals. The next year only two animals remained (Wilke and Hainy, 1974). The prime factor responsible for the St. Paul crash was overpop- ulation. Scheffer (1951) has estimated that this herd was at least three times beyond the carrying capacity of the range. At this point the lichen flora, an important winter food source, was seriously depleted. In August of 1951 seven males and twenty-four females were rein- troduced to St. Paul (Wilke and Hajny, 1974). By 1962 this population had increased to 762 animals. This herd was then reduced by harvesting. Wilke and Hainy (1974) reported that the primary management objective was to annually harvest 50 to 75 animals leaving an overwintering pop- ulation of approximately 260 animals. The estimated 1976 population of reindeer on St. Paul is 370 animals with a 28 percent reproduction rate (Hajny, pers. comm.). Population and harvest figures from 1951 to the present are presented in Table 9. 26 Table 9. Count of reindeer, St. Paul Island, Alaska, 1951-76.* Remaining Percentage 2/ Year Number Kill after killl/ increase 1951 34 34 - 1952 - - 65 1953 - - 65 1954 100 100 65 1955 - - 30 1956 160 160 30 1957 215 - 215 30 1958 271 38 233 26 1959 - - 530 33 1960 400 247 479 37 1961 530 - 530 33 1962 726 247 479 37 1963 537 105 432 12 1964 481 275 206 11 1965 265 50 215 29 1966 264 34 230 -3 1967 147 - 147 -44 1968 185 185 26 1969 246 - 246 33 1970 339 83 256 38 1971 353 40 31.4 44 1972 368 98 270 39 1973 384 84 300 43 1974 385 87 289 28 1975 368 43 325 28 1976 370 From Wilke and Hainy (1974) and Hajny (pers. comm.). l/ Loss of about 100 animals in 1966 due to an undetermined factor resulted in no hunting season until herd reached a satisfactory level. 2/ Increase based on number remaining after kill was deducted in first year and on number before kill in second year. Counts were not made in all years. Therefore, the percent of increase in 1952, 1953, and 1954 is 1/3 of the total from 1951 to 1954, the percent increase for 1955 and 1956 is 1/2 the total from 1954 to 1956, and the percent increase in 1958 and 1959 is 1/2 the total from 1958 to 1960. FIGURE 2. DISTRIBUTION C A R 18 0 U .... .... (172 PRIBILOF IS. do 0 PAC 00 0 CD (Z> ALEUTIAN ISLANDS DID CARIBOU - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp, 153 maps. Alaska Game Commission. 1925-1948. Annual reports of the Executive Officer to the Alaska Game Commission. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Juneau, Alaska. Burdick, C. G. 1940. Report to the Secretary of the Interior, Reindeer Acquisition Unit, Alaska Native Service, Juneau. 33 pp. Burris, 0. E. and D. E. McKnight. 1973. Game transplants in Alaska. Dept. of Fish and Game. Game Tech. Bull. No. 4. 57 pp. Faro, J. B. 1970. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9 and 10. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-2. Part II. Vol. 1. 1971. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-3. Part II. Vol. II. 1974. Caribou survey-iriventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proi. W-17-5. Part II. Vol. IV. 1975. Caribou survey-iriventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. Part III. Vol V. 1976. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 10 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Part III. Vol. VI. Glenn, L. P. 1967. Caribou report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-1 and W-15-R-2. Hammond, J. S., undated. A brief history of the Alaska Peninsula caribou. U.S.'Fish and Wildlife Service, Juneau, Alaska. 7 pp. Hemming, J. E. 1970. The caribou in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. 1971. The distribution and movement patterns of caribou in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wildl. Tech. Bull. No. 1. and L. P. Glenn. 1968. Caribou report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-2. 1969. Caribou report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-3 and W-17-1. 20 and R. E. Pegau. 1970. Caribou report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-1 and W-17-2. Irvine, C. A. 1976. Population size of the Alaska Peninsula caribou herd. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17-7 and W-17-8. Jones, R. 1966. Raising caribou for an Aleutian introduction. J. Wild. Mgt. 30(3):453-466. Murie, 0. J. 1935. Alaska-Yukon caribou. U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey. No. American fauna no. 54. 93 pp. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. N. Am. Fauna, No. 61, U.S. Dept. of Int. 406 pp. Osgood, W. H. 1904. A biological reconnaissance of the base of the Alaska Peninsula. N. Am. Fauna. No. 24, U.S. Dept. of Agr. 86 PP. Scheffer, V. B. 1951. The rise and fall of a reindeer herd. Sci. Monthly (6):356-362. Sekora, P. 1973. Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge study report. U.S.F.W.S. 409 pp. Sexton, J.J. 1975. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Unit 10 (Adak). Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. Part III. Vol. V. 1976. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Unit 10 (adak). Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Part III. Vol. V. Skoog, R. 0. 1968. Ecology of the caribou Rangifer tarandus granti in Alaska. Ph. D. Thesis. Univ. California, Be-r-kely. 699 pp. Steen, N. C. History of the Alaska Peninsula caribou. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Unpublished manuscript. 1976. Caribou survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Unit 9, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Part III. Vol. VI. Wilke, F. and R. Hajny. 1974. Reindeer management of St. Paul Island, Pribilof group. Nat. Marine Fish. Serv. Seattle, Wash. Unpub. Report. 3 0 DALL SHEEP Dall sheep (Ovis dalli), the northernmost species of sheep in North America, occur throughout all the major mountain ranges in Alaska. They are primarily a species of the alpine zone, though seasonally they may range into lower areas. The stability of most sheep populations reflects the stable climax communities of the alpine zone.. Sheep prefer areas where preferred forage species such as grasses, forbs, mosses and lichens are dispersed within suitable escape cover such as cliffs and rocky outcrops. Lambing occurs around the first of June at which time a single lamb is usually born (twins and triplets are occasionally produced). Ewes select the most inaccessible areas to lamb. Rams usually occur in the higher country during the spring and summer, segregated from the ewes and lambs-. Both sexes begin to congregate during the fall as breeding begins in late November and continues through mid-December. Most ewes breed when they are two and a half years old. During winter, snow restricts the movements of sheep to a small portion of their annual range. Winter weather is probably the most important factor in regulating sheep numbers. This occurs when deep snows and icing condition limit the availability of forage on the normally wind swept ridge tops. Unit 9 and 17 The only Dall sheep range in this region is restricted to the Lake Clark area in Units 9 and 17. This area is the southern most limit of Dall sheep habitat in the Alaska Range. This limit is probably the result of adverse winter snow conditions. Thus sheep numbers here fluctuate more than in more suitable habitat to the north. During the 31 severe winter of 1969-70 local residents reported a population reduction in this area. Recent harvest data suggest however, that this population is again increasing. The current (1976) estimate of sheep in this area is between 150 and 200 animals (Jim Faro, A.D.F.&G., Area Biologist, King Salmon, pers. comm.). Further population data are unavailable. Since sheep inhabit such a limited area within these units their entire range should be considered as critical habitat. Historically harvests have been low in this area and subsistance use is virtually absent. The harvest figures for Units 9 and 17 are presented in TableslO&11. The 1975 harvest of 13 sheep in Unit 9 was the highest recorded for this unit. Currently there is little non-consumptive use of sheep in either of these units. Unit 10 Dall sheep do not occur in Unit 10. 32 Table 10. Historic harvest of legal rams in Unit 9. Year Harvest Year Harvest 1962 0 1969 7 1963 1 1970 2 1964 2 1971 2 1965 0 1972 3 1966 0 1973 3 1967 6 1974 8 1968 10 1975 13 Table 11. Historic harvest of legal rams in Unit 17. Year Harvest Year Harvest 1965 14 1970 6 1966 7 1971 6 1967 6 1972 5 1968 15 1973 5 1969 9 1974 4 1975 5 33 FIGURE 3. DIST RIBUTION - D A L L S H E E P 67 PRIBILOF IS. CA) (10 PAC p,L ALEUTI'AN ISLANDS 0 C) SHEEP - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. 563 maps. 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. 1 - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1952. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton and Mifflin Co., Boston. 284 pp. Dufresne, F. 1946. A-laska's animals and fishes. A.S. Barnes and Co... N.Y. 279 pp. Faro, J. B. 1974. Sheep survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-5. Part I. Vol. IV. 1974. Sheep survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Unit 9. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. Part I. Vol. V. 1976. Sheep survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Unit 9. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Part I. Vol. VI. Hall, R. E. and K. R. Kelson. 1959. The mammals of North America. Roland Press. New York. Vol. I and 11. 1,083 pp. Manville, R. H. and S. P. Young. 1965. Distribution of Alaskan mammals. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. Cir. 211. 74 pp. Murie, 0. J. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. N. Am. Fauna. No. 61. U.S. Dept. of Int. 406 pp. Nichols, L. 1970. Sheep survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Unit 9. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-2. Vol. I. Olson, S. T. The Dall sheep in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Walker, E. P. et al. 1964. Mammals of the world. John's Hopkins Press. Baltimore. Vol. I and 11. 1,500 pp. IV 35 BROWN-GRIZZLY BEAR The brown-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) is the largest land carnivore in the world. This species attains its largest size (up to 1,300 pounds) in southern Alaska. Generally brown bears are considered coastal populations whereas grizzlies are considered interior populations of the same species. This species is distributed throughout Alaska except for the Aleutian Islands b6yound Unimak Island and the islands south of Frederick Sound. Brown-grizzly bears appear to prefer open grassland or tundra habitats. The greatest population densities occur in the lush grassland communities on the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island. The brown- grizzly bear utilizes a wide range of forage material. During spring numerous species of grasses and forbs make up an important part of the diet while during summer and fall a wide variety of fruit and berry producing plants are consumed. Insect larvae, small mammals, occasional ungulates and a variety of carrion is also utilized when available. Spawning salmon is a major forage item when in season, and the cause of bear concentrations near streams. In Alaska the brown-grizzly bear breeds from May through mid-July. Both sexes attain sexual maturity at three and a half to four and a half years of age. One to four (average of 2.2) cubs are born in the den during late January or February. The female generally breeds every third year. In Alaska brown-grizzly bears enter their den during November or December where they go through a period of winter dormancy. They emerge from the den during April or May. The length of denning generally reflects the severity and length of the winter season. This varies from region to region. 36 Unit 9 Although little historical information is available for Unit 9 it appears that brown bear distribution has remained relatively stable there in recent times. Brown bears are abundant throughout this area with densities comparable to Kodiak Island. The greatest densities occur between Port Moller and Katmai National Monument. A-Ithough it is difficult to estimate the total population, a conservative estimate of 2,000 bears has been made for the area south of the Naknek River and Katmai National Monument (Alaska's Wildlife and Habitat, 1973). Productivity appears to be higher in the Black Lake area as compared to the McNeil River area to the north (Jim Faro, A.D.F.&G., Area Biologist, King Salmon, pers. comm.). Seasonal altitudinal shifts in distribution reflect the availability of forage and the approaching period of winter denning. During spring the bears move from their denning areas on the steeper slopes to lower subalpine and coastal flats where they feed on new plant material. At this time the grass flats on the beach fringe and the head of the bays are critical spring habitat. This habitat is most limited on the Pacific side of the peninsula. During spring brown bear are known to prey on moose calves (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). The high availability of salmon in the many streams throughout the Alaska Peninsula provide an abundant food supply during the summer and early fall. The availability of this high protein diet is probably the most important factor in the large size of peninsula bears. Salmon 37 generally become available earlier in the Pacific drainages. Thus some bears are first attracted to these drainages then later cross over to take advantage of runs in the Bristol Bay drainages. Brown bears inhabiting the Alaska Peninsula are considered to be of one population as interchange between the Pacific and Bristol Bay sides is common (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). Brown bears on the peninsula also make frequent movements into the subalpine and alpine areas beginning in early August. These movements are in response to ripening berry fields such as blue berries and cranberries. Denning begins in late October and November. Primary denning sites include upper slopes in the alder-willow zone. Males and single bears usually den later and emerge earlier than females with cubs. A mandatory bear hide sealing program was initiated in 1961. Since then the Alaska Peninsula has contributed over 25 percent of the statewide harvest of brown-grizzly bears. Unit 9 has consistently been a popular area for hunting large trophy size brown bears. The average annual harvest since 1961 has been 182.5 bears. The yearly harvest figures are presented in Table 12. Non-resident harvest has accounted for 72 percent of the average annual harvest since 1961. The highest harvest occurred in 1972 when 279 bears were taken. The lowest take was during 1961 when 93 bears were harvested. Since 1961 the percentage of males in the harvest has declined (73% in 1961 to 56% in 1975). In 1976 the department imposed alternate year seasons to increase both the average age and the proportion of males in the harvest. Local use of brown bears in this unit is low, probably less than five annually. This use is primarily from the Lake Iliamna and Chignik- 33 Table 12. 6-4- 63 A M E M A N A G ENC U N I T 0 9 :S/ 7 6 YE A R L Y i3F_A. R SPORT H AR VE-S T I cg) I - 1 97 5 HAR VE S T S UMMA P Y BY YEAR . SF X 01:7 IjE A R. AN D P E5 I DEN CY OF HUNT ER 0 R 0 W N GRIZZLY BEARS C A L. i.: ti A 14 TCTAL IJ4(JFS At L)=' F F OF 11 U Y By SEASUN Y f--* A R KILL H L I- FEMALES MALLS F 11_-_'.'@ I A L E S UNKNOWN NUNRES I NONRES DATES +- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . -.5 _ _. .... - ____0 2 7 0 0 5-- C 1 0 0 DAYS ----------------------------------------- 196 2 01'-.;4 1 0 8 04 6 070 3 0 000 1 096 1 62 1 264 DAYS 1 ---------- 4--------------------------------- '06".3-1 __ C 1 i, 4 --C)5'5--- ___C) 6. 5 '--J---O -11 5 1-0 0 7-1 -1 I'4___ L)"@YS-1- --------- f---------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------ I r) f, 4 1 Olt)(') I 1 0 3 1 04b 1 070 () -10 1 008 1 1 10 1 71 1 273 DAYS I t------------------- f- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (""i- 0 2 () 9 1 3 6-.1-06 9 6 6------l - 0.3 4 --1 -0 0 4- '66-1-273 DAYS----1- ----------------- +----------------- ------------------- ------------------------------------------- 1 966 0;1;? 9 1 57 1 0 6 2 072 1 0"a 01 0 1 172 1 7b 1 273 DAYS I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4- - - - - - - - - j- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -DAY S-1 - - - - - - - - - - 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 q('a 016C, 1 1,j 0 0-73 1 027 1 0-,)5 1 134 1 P 4 1 [email protected] DAYS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 6 6 2 cz 1970 015B 1 03 050 067 0 --13 005 119 75 56 DAYS -------------------------------------------------------------- 4- 0, 3 47-- l'0__ 1- 13 D A Y S-1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1 C)72 1 02'79 1 1 54 1 1 1 9 1 056 1 044 1 0 U 6 1 203 73 1 47 DAYS I --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------- ----------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- 1 1) 7 4 1 C 14 1 ) 075 1 066 1 053 1 0117 1 000 1 114 1 . 81 1 15 UAYS I ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- i-C) 7 -4-1 ------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- I TOTALS 1 2-13-9 1 1728 1 092-1 1 0065 1 0035 1 0083 1 1962 1 72 1 1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: [email protected] by Leland Glenn,.A.D.F.9 G. Game Biologist, 1976 Black Lake areas. Nonconsumptive use of brown bears on the peninsula occurs primarily at McNeil River Falls and Katmai National Monument. High potential for nonconsumptive use exists at Right and Left Hand Valleys near Cold Bay. Unit 10 Brown bears occur only on Unimak Island in Unit 10. Little information is available on their history or their current population numbers. It is suspected however that their densities are probably similar to those on the lower portion of the peninsula. Hunting is rather limited in this unit. The harvest figures since 1961 are presented in Table 13. The average annual harvest is currently 5.3 bears. The highest harvest was 15 bears in 1964. Nonconsumptive use is minimal in this unit. Unit 17 Brown bears are common throughout most of Unit 17 although they tend to be slightly smaller than those from Unit 9. Little data is available on the history or population numbers of brown bears in this unit. The density of brown bears in Unit 17 however is considered to be less than that of Unit 9. Seasonal movements and critical areas are generally similar to those described for Unit 9. The most abundant and available salmon runs are found primarily in the Nushagak drainage and Togiak River during August and September. Denning is believed to be slightly longer in this unit than in Unit 9 and is probably not as confined to the higher slopes as it is on the Peninsula. Because of the remoteness of Unit 17 substantially fewer bears are harvested here than in Unit 9. The harvest figures for Unit 17 since 40 Table 13. 1 1-0 i 04 I A.'-, C M A N A `@ E im F @' T U 1 T 10 13/ 7 (j Y::- A R L Y OL A R SPORT H [email protected] V FS T 1 9(@ 1 - 1 97 5 HA R VE S T b UNIMIA k Y 0 Y Y CAR , S Ex OF [If--- [email protected] ANI f) H ES I [email protected] CY OF HUN T FN bROWN GRIZZ-Ly UeARS 4- - -- - - - - -- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - CAt-f--t,iOAR TOTAL IJ OF P fj i-. % OF Z. 0 F P OF At 0 Y y BY SE A S9.N Y f- A; K I I t4k LF S FEMA MALES F L- MALFS JNKNOWN NONRES NONRES D A T E i I LES I I I I I I S I. ----------- -------------------------- i----------- f ---------- ------------------------------------------- 001 00.---. 1---() () 0.- 1--- 00 0 0 ---1 --'-2/;:S 'U A Y S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - +- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1902 0003 1 002 001 067 033 000 000 1 0 1 243 DAYS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -0() [email protected] -(),0()- 1.--() 0 --.o 0c.. 0 1-00 0-- 1--- 0-1-273 -D AY S ----------------------------------------- :------------------------------------------------------- 1 1 964 1 0015 1 OOQ 0 0 6 0c, 0 1 01; 0 1 000 1 005 1 3:3 1 273 DAYS 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -m- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 00 10 --.1 -..- () 7 () - I - -- -1 ().-, 0 1.- -1. 0 0 () I - 1 -.1 0 0- 1 - -- @ I --10'- --- - I - - - 2 5'@ D A Y S ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1966 0006 004 0 2 1 0(j 7 1 033 1 000 1 001 1 . 17 1 25c) DAY.S ----------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------- -- - - - - - - - - - --- - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 90 8 0004 0 0? 0 2 05() 300 004 1 Go 217 DAYS 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0 () ()-- 1 -..-0 0 0. -DAYS ---------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------ 1970 0005 1. 004 1 001 1 080 1 020 000 j 000 1 0 1 .47 DAYS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - i- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - i- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0 - 0 ..f I--- 003 -j-4-7---3AYS--]- ---------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- 1()7? OCOS 0 03 1 002 06 0 040 1 000 1 000 1 0 1 47 DAYS -------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- I---0 0 0--j--C) 0 0 -71 -.- 0-1-4 7 '-D A Y S ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1974 OC,05 003 002 06 0 040 000 000 . 0 1 47 DAYS ----------------------- G-0-6-1-0-0 2--j-0 03 .-I--04'C)-*1-03-0-1-0-0-1-1--OC) ---------------------------------- 4-------------------------------------------------------------- I TOTALS I 00-1c) 1 0045 1 003.3 1 0053 1 0042 1 0001 1 001 1 1 14 1 1 - ------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- source; Compiled by Leland Glenn, A,D,F,@ G. [email protected], 1976 1961 are presented in Table 14. The average annual harvest is 16.2 bears of which over 75 percent are taken by non-residents. The highest number of bears (30) were taken in 1973. Nonconsumptive use of brown bears is minimal in this unit. 4 2- Table 14. C, At., F F M L. N r U N I Y .1 7 0104 MANAG 3/ 7 6 [email protected] A I LY HF-AP `,1')0kT [email protected] 1961 - lc)7) HA:ZVESI* SUMMAPY HY Yi--AP, SL-X UF HEAR. ANU RESIDLENCY OF HONTLR F1 R C) w T\1 G R I Z I- Ly B E A R S ----------------- - - - - - - - - CA L f- N F) A R T 1) T A L Ae 0 fl OF % 0 0 F 10 0 Y y BY SEASON % OF I KILL MALF F E 10 A LE 5 MA LES FF-NiALaS I UNMJGWN NONRES NONRES DATF ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4------------------------ 0 --C) 0 0 [email protected] 1.---o 50 -- 1- --a 0 0 ---0 0 0 0 I C )t, 1 1-0 0 () 2---j- -0 AYS-- I- ------------------- ----------------------------------------------------- 1 <)62 0002 002 000 1()G 000 000 1 000 1 0 1 It,4 DAYS I -------------------------- ------------------------------------------ Gal 154-DAYS-1 ----------------------------------- ------------------------------ ------------------ -------------- 1 1()64 0004 1 002 1 002 [email protected] 1 050 1 000 003 1 - 75 154 DAYS ----------------------------------- 4-------------------- f-------------------------------- -0 O'@.- --- -1. -- I ---.C) 0 0. lQos- I--Co06 . . 1. 1 - -' 03 3'-'-'- 1.--G6, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 () '-', 6 1 G00Q 1 0 014. 004 obo 1 050 1 00 1 004 1 44 1 154. C))',YS I - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --- - - - Go I 1 0 0 3 --0 0 8 02 -7 0 7 3 0 0 0 - -- - 0 1 0 -- - .-9 1-.- 1 --1 5 4 --D A Y S ---- I - -------------------------------------------------------------- I )oq 1 001 0 0 o 00--1 07() j 0-10 1 000 1 006 1 * 60 1-94 DAYS ----------------- i----------------------------------------------------------------- 0 06--l-o 1-0 ------ C) 5 0-. ---- 0 0-0--j-003-1 'DAYS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1970 0023 1 0 12 1 0 i 0 1 0 ti t) I a It 5 1 0.0 1 1 020 - 1 87 1 72 DAYS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1--l [email protected] 1-70 0-33--j-6-2-1 --[-0 1- 1-1 -06* 6-1 -0 3 ";-- @--O 2 6-1--7---7 9--j - 72 -DAYS-1 4---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 1972 0 0 3 5 022 1 013 1 063 1 037 1 000 1 02 7 1 - 77 1 72 DAYS I -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --80--j-42-DAYS-1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I I Ij 74 1 0029 024 1 005 1 033 1 017 1 0()G 1 022- 1 76 1 42 DAYS -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 4- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9-F--0-2-1- 1-CJ0-0,-j-0+z5 r-2 &-- 1-----3 -l-D-A-Y 5-1 ------------------------------ ----------------------- ----------------------------------------- TOTALS 1 0243 ) 01 57 1 0080 1 0066 1 0034 1 0006 1 0184 1 1 76 1 1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Compi),led by Leland Glenn, A.D.F.& G.., [email protected] Biologist, 1976 ......... .......................... FIGURE 4. ........... ...... . . . . ......... .. . .......... .. DISTRIBUTION BROWN BEAR .. ........... ....... ............ ..... . .............. PRIBILOF IS. ................ ................. 0\- .. ....... do PA 05B P, tA 0 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS BROWN-GRIZZLY BEAR - SELECTED REFERENCES Anchorage Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's Wildlife and Habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp + 563 maps. 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I and 11 (411 pp, 757 pp. + 128 maps). 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information- for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1952. A field guide to the [email protected]'S. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 284 pp. Dufresne, F. 1946. Alaska's animals and fishes. A.S. Barnes and Co., N. Y. 279 pp. Eide, S. The brown-grizzly bear in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series No. 7. 2 pp. Erickson, A. W. 1963. Bear report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-6-R-4. and D. B. Siniff. 1963. A statistical evaluation of factors influencing aerial survey results on brown bear. Trans, N. Am. Wild. Conf. 28:391-409. 1965. The brown-grizzly bear in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-6-R-5. et al. 1968. The breeding biology of the male brown bear. Zoologica. 53(3):85-101. Faro, J. B. 1970. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Unit 9, 10, 17, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-3. 1971. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10, 17, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-3. 1973. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10, 17, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. 1974. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Unit 9, 10, 17, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. 45 1975. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10, 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6. 1976. Brown-grizzly bear survey-inventory progress report. Game Management Units 9, 10, 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Glenn, L. P. and L. H. Miller. 1970. Report on 1969 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proi. W-17-2. 1971. Report on 1970 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-2 and W-17-3. 1972. Report on 1971 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-3 and W-17-4. 1973. Report on 1972 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-4 and W-17-5. 1975. Report on 1974 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6 and W-17-7. 1976. Report on 1975 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7 and W-17-8. Vol. XVI. Hall, R. E. and K. R. Kelson. 1959. The mammals of North America. Roland Press. New York. Vol. I and 11. 1,083 pp. Hensel, R. J. et al. 1969. Reproduction in the female brown bear. J. Wild. Mgt. 33(2):357-365. IUCN. 1972. Bears - their biology and management. Papers and proc. of the Intl. Conf. on bear res. and mgt. New Series No. 23. 371 pp- Lentfer, J. W. et al. 1966. [email protected] studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. w-15-R-6. et al. 1967. Bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Came. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-1, 2. et al. 1968. Bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-15-R-2, 3. et al. 1969. Report on 1968 brown bear studies. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-16-R-3 and W-17-1. Manville, R. H. and S. P. Young. 1965. Distribution of Alaskan mammals. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser. Cir. 211. 74 pp. Somerville, R. J. 1965. An evaluation of the 1961-63 Alaskan brown and grizzly bear management program. M.S. Thesis, U. of Montana. 117 pp. Wilker, E. P. et al. 1964. Mammals of the world. John's Hopkins Press. Baltimore. Vol. I and 11. 1,500 pp. 46 BLACK BEAR Black bears (Ursus americanus) range throughout most of northern North America. They are comparatively much Lre adaptable to human population distribution than are brown-grizzly bears. The black bear however, has a more limited distribution throughout Alaska than does the brown-grizzly bear. Primarily a forest animal, black bear range throughout most of the state except north of the Brooks Range, the Seward Peninsula, Kuskokwin Delta, Alaska Peninsula south of the Branch River, the islands of southeastern Alaska north of Frederick Sound, Kodiak, Montague and Hinchinbrook Islands as well as the Aleutians and the islands to the north. In terms of island distribution they are generally absent from those occupied by brown-grizzly bears. Black bears generally prefer open forests which include fruit producing shrubs interspersed with meadows. Except for southeastern Alaska black bear populations in the state are comparatively more sparse than populations further to the south. Sexual maturity in black bears is generally attained at about three and a half years of age. Breeding occurs from mid-June through mid- July. Normally two cubs are born in the den during late January or February. Females usually breed in alternate years. Black bears are omnivorous. During early spring they feed primarily on grasses and herbaceous vegetation. During summer they consume quantities of berries and salmon when these items are available. Invertebrates and carrion are also taken when available. Winter denning in black bears usually begins in October and extends through April and sometimes into May. As in broum-,grizzly bears the duration of denning varies regionally. 47 Units 9 and 17 Black bear populations in both Units 9 and 17 are very low and limited primarily to the forested areas of the Upper Cook Inlet drainages and the Lake Clark area. Their range extends to Dillingham and Togiak Bay. Katmai National Monument is the southern most limit of their distribution. Little data is available on black bear populations within these units although their numbers appear to be increasing and slowly extending southward (Jim Faro, A.D.F.&G., Area Biologist, King Salmon, pers. comm.). Altitudinal movements take place seasonally reflecting changes in available forage. Habitats critical to black bear appear to be similar to those of brown bear. Beach fringes and lowland river valleys are quite important. No mandatory sealing program is in effect for black bear in either of these units. It is estimated however, that approximately 15 bears are harvested annually in these two units (Jim Faro, pers. comm.). Approximately half of the annual harvest is taken by local residents. Noncomsumptive use of black bears is minimal in these units. Unit 10 Black bears do not occur in Unit 10. 48 ........... . ... . ............ . . .. ........... FIGURE 5. DISTRIBUTION - 8 L A C K B E A R ........... PRIBILOF IS. .10A. nq 'Pi PAC ALEUTIAN ISLANDS BLACK BEAR - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp + 563 maps. 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I and 11 (411 pp, 757 pp. + 128 maps). 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodaik areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1952. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 284 pp. Dufresne, F. 1946. Alaska's animals and fishes. A.S. Barnes and Co., N. Y. 279 pp. Erickson, A.W. and W. C. Youatt. 1961. Seasonal variations in the hematology and physiology of black bears. J. Mamm. 42(2):198-203. 1965. The black bear in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. No. W-6-R-5. Faro, J. B. 1974. Black bear survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proi. W-17-5. Part III. Vol. V. 1975. Black bear survey-inventory annual report. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-6, Part III. Vol. V. Hall, R. E. and K. R. Kelson. 1959. The mammals of North America. Roland Press. New York. Vol. I and 11. 1,083 pp. Johnson, L. 1971. The black bear in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Manville, R. H. and S. P. Young. 1965. Distribution of Alaskan mammals. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser. Cir. 211. 74 pp. Steen, N. C. 1976. Black bear survey-inventory report. Game Management Units 9 and 17. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. W-17-7. Part III. Vol. Vi. Walker, E. P. et al. 1964. Mammals of the world. John's Hopkins Press. Baltimore. Vol. I and 11. 1,500 pp. 50 FURBEARERS, SMALL GAME AND UPLAND GAME BIRDS Furbearers, small game and upland game birds occur throughout portions of Units 9 and 17 in varying numbers. Although many species are present on Unimak Island in Unit 10, most are absent from the rest of the Aleutian Chain west of Unimak. Specific data for most of the species inhabiting these units is not available. In some cases relative abundance can be estimated from trapping records, but these are often incomplete and pertain only to specific species such as beaver, wolf and wolverine. Most of the information presented here was obtained either from the literature or from Alaska Fish and Game Department Area Biologists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologists familiar with the area. Furbearers occurring in Units 9, 10 and 17 include wolf, coyote, red fox, arctic fox, lynx, wolverine, marten, mink, short-tailed weasel, least weasel, land otter, beaver, muskrat, marmot, arctic ground squirrel, red squirrel and flying squirrel. Of these, the most important is probably the beaver which is harvested most intensively in the northern portion of Unit 17. Only three species of furbearers occur in Unit 10 west of Unimak. They are the arctic ground squirrel, arctic fox and red fox. Small game included in this report consists of snowshoe hare, tundra hare and porcupine. Snowshoe and tundra hare occur only in Units 9 and 17 while porcupine, which also occur in those units, are reported to occur on Unimak Island in Unit 10. Upland game birds which occur within Units 9 and 17 include willow, rock and white-tailed ptarmigan and spruce, ruffed and sharp-tailed 40 grouse. Willow ptarmigan occur in Unit 10 only on Unimak Island while 51 rock ptarmigan are present on most major islands throughout the Aleutian 0 Chain. 0 0 52 WOLF The wolf (Canis lupus), once distributed throughout most of North America, is today limited primarily to the northern wilderness of Canada and Alaska. Wolves are very adaptable in terms of climate and habitat. They occur throughout the entire state of Alaska except for some offshore islands including the Aleutians south of Unimak. Wolves are classified in Alaska both as a big game species and as a furbearer where they are harvested for commercial purposes by trapping or shooting. Current market value may range up to several hundred dollars for each prime pelt. Since wolves prey primarily on big game species such as caribou, moose and deer they often come into conflict with man, who places a high CD recreational and/or subsistence value on these same species. This and the fact that they often took domestic stock (because their natural prey was reduced by hunting or habitat reduction) was the primary factor which brought about their demise, through predator control programs, over most of the lower 48. Other prey species utilized by wolves (although of secondary importance) consist of snowshoe hares, beavers, salmon, sheep and occasionally goats. Their food consumption is in the range of four to eight pounds of meat per wolf per day. Wolves usually range over a large area (up to 60 miles or more in diameter) and travel in packs of from 2 to 30 animals. The social structure of these packs is highly developed and complex and is an important factor in their success as a predator. Pupping usually occurs in May or early June. Females generally produce their first litter at two years of age and most litters average b 3 five to six pups. In Alaska, although most females breed every year, productivity is related to available food resources and in periods of low prey densities pup mortality may be high. Historically the wolf has been a contraversial figure. Today emotions run high on both sides of the issue of wolf management. The logical approach to such problems however, is to develop sound management policies, based on objective biological data. Such management should provide for the long term conservation of our big game species as well as ensuring the continued conservation of the wolf, which is considered by many to be a symbol of the northern wildnerness. Units 9 and 17 Wolves occur throughout Units 9 and 17, however little historical or population information is available. Currently these populations are not considered abundant although they appear to be increasing. Wolves are not considered an important factor in the regulation of either caribou or moose populations inhabiting these units. The harvest data from these units are presented in Table 1. The average annual harvest for Unit 9 is approximately 26 wolves while Unit 17 is approximately 24 wolves. Most of these animals are taken by shooting. Traditional trapping methods harvest only a few wolves each year. Nonconsumptive use of wolves is generally minimal except in Katmai National Monument where hunting of wolves is not permitted. Unit 10 Wolves occur in Unit 10 only on Unimak Island, however, their current status there is unknown. Since 1961, only one wolf has been reported harvested from Unit 10. 54 Table Wolf harvest Units 9, 10 and 17. Total Harvested Date Unit 9 Unit 10 Unit 17 61-62 4 -- 62-63 9 15 63-64 16 14 64-65 44 1 65-66 27 18 66-67 51 26 67-68 24 24 68-69 22 15 69-70 26 3 70-71 7 13 71-72 24 28 72-73 24 1 20 73-74 31 -- 20 74-75 52 ill Average Annual Harvest 25.8 23.7 55 Table 2. 1974-1975 Wolf harvest, Unit 9. Month Number Percent Month Number Percent July January 11 21.3 August -- -- February 14 26.9 September 5 9.6 March 9 17.3 October 9 17.3 April 2 3.8 November 1 1.9 May -- -- December 1 1.9 June Unknown -- -- TOTAL 52 100 Method of Take Number Percent Ground Shooting 48 92.3 Trapping 4 7.7 Snaring -- -- Other -- -- TOTAL 52 100 Color of Wolves Taken Number Percent White 3 5.8 Brown 3 5.8 Gray 40 76.9 Black 6 11.5 Unknown -- -- TOTAL 52 100 Sex Harvest Males 33 Females 14 Unknown 5 TOTAL 52 L, 6 Table 3. 1974-1975 Wolf harvest, Unit 17. Month Number Percent Month Number Percent July January -- -- August February 28 25.2 September -- -- March 64 57.7 October 1 0.9 April 16 14.4 November -- -- May -- -- December 2 1.8 June Unknown -- TOTAL ill 100 Method of Take Number Percent Ground Shooting 104 93.7 Trapping 7 6.3 Snaring -- -- Other -- TOTAL ill 100 Color of Wolves Taken Number Percent White 3 2.7 Brown 11 9.9 Gray 79 71.2 Black 18 16.2 Unknown -- -- TOTAL ill 100 Sex Harvest Males 56 Females 54 Unknown 1 TOTAL ill 5"1 .................................. ----- ........... ........ ..... ......... ........... ........... ........... ......... ............... ............ FIGURE 1. ................................... ...... DISTRIBUTION W 0 L F ..... ..... . ........ .... ......... ...................... Q2 PRIBILOF IS. .......... ... ............ 0\- .. .......... ... .. ... ..... . . .......... .............. .. . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . ... c.n C0 .......... X., PA 00 ALEUTI AN ISLANDS 4D 0 V.-A [email protected] COYOTE The coyote (Canis latrans) has only recently become established in Alaska. It was first observed in Alaska around 1915. Following their first appearance they spread rapidly across the state with the highest density centered in the Tanana Valley around 1950. By 1953 the center of their distribution had shifted toward southcentral Alaska. In 1964, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported: "We can advise that these animals (coyotes) are at an extremely low level of abundance in Alaska at this time. Formerly, we had good populations which apparently crashed as a result of rabies or some other disease." Today coyotes occur in most areas of the state except the Arctic coast, the far western portion, most of the Alaska Peninsula, much of Southeastern and the coastal islands. Although coyotes are common throughout their range they are usually not abundant. Coyotes are very adaptable animals and occur throughout a variety of habitats. Coyotes prey on a wide variety of small mammals including hares, ground squirrels and numerous species of mice. They are opportunistic foragers and their diet includes berries, invertebrates and carrion when available. Although they perfer to hunt during the night or during the twilight hours, they are also active during daylight throughout the Arctic summer. Coyotes usually hunt alone although occasionally they hunt in pairs. Coyotes usually breed from January to March. After a gestation period of approximately 60 days females give birth to five to seven pups. Pups are born in a den usually located in the cover of a natural crevice. Females become sexually mature during their second winter 59 * and usually produce one litter per year. Prior to 1969 there was a bounty on the coyote throughout Alaska. This was removed in 1969 since coyotes do not significantly affect the abundance of most game species. Coyotes are occasionally trapped for their pelts. Unit 9 Coyotes have occurred on the Alaska Peninsula at various times. Currently however, they are only occasionally present in the northern portion of Unit 9. No other information is available on their status in this unit. Unit 10 Coyotes do not occur in Unit 10. Unit 17 Coyotes are occasionally present throughout the northern portion of Unit 17. No other information is available on their status there. 60 ..... ................. -........................................ ......................... I................ ........................................ ......................................... ......................................... ......................................... ..................... ....................................... ....................................... .................... ............. I ......................... ...................................... ......................... ............ ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... FIGURE 2. ..................... .................... I................ ...................................... ..................................... .................................. I... ..................................... .................................... ..................................... .................................... .................................... DISTRIBUTION COYOTE .................. .................................... ................................... ................................... .................................. .................................. ................................ .............................. ............................ .......................... ............... I......... .............. ...................... ..................... ................. ............... ............. ........... PRIBILOF IS. 110 PAC @jAc)s 0 %SL P,Le C ALEUTIAN [email protected] 0 (D Do RED FOX The red fox (Vulpes fulva) occurs throughout Alaska except for some islands in southeastern Alaska and Prince Williams Sound. Red foxes inhabit a variety of habitats, but seem to prefer broken country of forest openings interspersed with hill s and draws south of the Arctic tundra. This species is native to most of Alaska, but has been introduced to many islands as a result of fox farming operations in early 1900's. The red fox is omnivorous and forages on a wide variety of items including small mammals, birds, eggs, invertebrates, plant material and carrion. Their diet often fluctuates seasonally, reflecting the rel- ative availability of specific items. Generally however, mice (especially ifiicrotines) and hares appear to be preferred and are probably taken most often. Red fox populations fluctuate with respect to changes in prey densities. During summer and fall foxes feed heavily on berries and invertebrates whereas during winter they are restricted almost exclusively to fresh meat and carrion. The red fox breeds during February and March. Following breeding the pair locate an appropriate denning site. Dens are excavations, usually 15 to 20 feet long, located on the side of a well drained hill. This den may have several entrances. Following a 53 day gestation period a litter of usually four kits is born in a grass lined nest within the den. One litter is usually produced each year. Both parents care for the young and the family persists until fall when the individuals disperse. In Alaska, the red fox is considered one of the states most important 6 furbearers and recently their value has increased. In 1976 the market value for a single pelt ranged from $60 to $150. This increase in value may result in increasing harvest pressure. Currently however, they do not appear to be over harvested anywhere in the state. Units 9 and 17 The red fox is common throughout this region. Some of the best red fox habitat in the state is considered to be in Units 9 and 17. Red foxes feed on carrion found on the sea beaches of these coastal units. Thus they are not totally dependent on small mammal populations for a food source. Because of this, their populations near these areas may be more stable. However, rabies epidemics frequently occur in these pop- ulations, resulting in wide-spread mortality. Foxes are harvested in these units primarily by local trappers for the fur market and for local domestic use, such as parka ruffs. Sport hunting and nonconsumptive use of red fox is relatively minor in this area. Unit 10 The red fox is native to the larger islands of the Aleutians west to and including Umnak Island (Murie, 1959). However, beginning with the Russian occupation of the Aleutians and continuing through 1932 many fox introductions were made. Apparently the early Russian introductions were limited to the dark phase of the red fox. Red fox populations established from these introductions occurred on Great Sitkin, Kanaza, Amlia, Adak, Seguam and possibly other islands, but were later eliminated to facilitate introduction of the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus), (Murie, 1959). 63 Currently red foxes are known to occur on Unimak, Akun, Akutan, Unalaska and Umnak islands. A small population may also occur on Seguam Island. No other information is currently available on their status on these islands. 64 ... ... .... .. .......... ............ .............. ........ ............ ............ ........... .......... .......... ................... ............... .......... ...... ........ .............. .... .... FIGURE 3. .. ........... .. .......... DISTRIBUTION RED FOX ...... .... ... ....... ..... .......... ............. ... ....... .......... ... ....... ............... ....... ... .... ......... . ......... PRIBILOF IS. .............. ... 0\- ......... ...... .............. ...... .. .............. ... ..... ............ ....... ..... . `:` 0 ........... ... ... .......... ....... .... .. ... ......... ul ...... ... ......... .......... .. ........ .......... ..... ..... ......... ..... . . . . ... . . . . . . ... ........... PA( [email protected] ALEUTIAN ISLANDS ARCTIC FOX The arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) is an animal of the northern tundra. In Alaska this fox occurs in a narrow band along the marine coasts, on open tundra, rocky beaches and sea ice many miles from shore. The southern limit of its natural distribution is the northwestern shore of Bristol Bay. This species, however, has been widely transplanted for fox farming on many islands throughout the state, including the Pribilofs and Aleutians. The arcitc fox feeds on a variety of material such as small mammals, including hares and microtine rodents (especially lemmings), birds, eggs, and a variety of carrion. Arctic foxes display extreme fluctuations in population densities with periodic peaks in fox populations occuring approximately every four years. These fluctuations correspond to forage availability especially with respect to densities of lemming populations. Foxes patrol the tide line on beaches in search of many forms of carrion. They also search out polar bear kills located far out on the pack ice. This fox is also a highly efficient predator on the eggs and young of waterfowl and seabirds. The arctic fox breeds at one year of age, usually in March or April. It produces four to eight young per litter generally in May or June. Productivity however, is directly related to the abundance and availability of food resources. This species prefers to den in elevated well-drained soils with a deep active frost layer and high soil temperatures. These areas are considered prime breeding habitat for the arctic fox. The harvest of arctic fox in Alaska is highly variable. The average annual harvest of arctic fox between 1912 and 1963 was 4,072 while 6 66 between 1968 and 1974 it averaged 2,369. Most arctic fox furs are sold outside of Alaska (Chesemore, 1967). Unit 9 Arctic fox generally do not occur in Unit 9, although an occasional animal may be present in the northwestern portion of the unit. Unit 10 It does not appear that the arctic fox ever occurred naturally in the Aleutian Islands except possibly in the Near Islands (the most westerly group) which possibly were colonized from the Commander Islands in the U.S.S.R. (Murie, 1959). The arctic fox however, has been introduced extensively throughout the Aleutians west of Umnak. These introductions were primarily for fur ranching. All the major islands and most of the smaller ones west of Umnak were inhabited by arctic foxes by the late 1940's. By the end of 1947 however, trapping activities had come to an end in the Aleutians. Because the fox was an efficient predator on nesting birds on these islands it was eliminated from Amchitka Island where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was attempting to re-establish the Aleutian Canada goose. The blue color phase of the arctic fox predominates throughout its range in the Aleutians. The arctic fox is indigenous to the Pribilof Islands where it occurs on St. George, St. Paul and Otter Islands. Unit 17 Arctic fox generally occur only in the southwestern portion of Unit 17. No other information is available on their status there. 67 . ....................... ............................. ........... . .................. ......... .............. ................ ........ .... ....... .... I......... .............. ................ . ......... ........ ............ ............... . . ......... .............. ............. . ............. .. ........... .. ........ I.......... .. ...... ... ............ FIGURE 4. ..... ......... ......... .............. .. ........ ....... .... ....... .......... DISTRIBUTION ARCTIC FOX .......... .. ........ .. ........ .............. .. . ....... ............ ............. ............ PRIBILOF IS. 00 P A PJ-E ALEUTIAN ISLANDS LYNX The lynx (Lynx canadensis) is the only member of the cat family (Felidae) native to Alaska. Lynx occur throughout Alaska except for the Yukon and Kuskokwim Deltas, the southern portion of the Alaska Peninsula and coastal islands. They generally prefer climax forests with dense undercover where their primary prey, the snowshoe hare, occurs. A solitary animal, the lynx is usually nocturnal except during the long daylight periods of the Arctic summer. Lynx generally breed during March or April. After approximately a 60 day gestation, usually one to four kittens are born in a den formed by a natural cavity. Productivity is closely related to prey density and thus is prone to fluctuation. Lynx feed on a variety of small mammals and birds as well as carrion. Their primary prey however, is the snowshoe hare whose populations are prone to drastic fluctuations. Lynx populations also fluctuate in response to these changes in prey density. The lynx-hare cycle is well known by biologists and population highs can sometimes be predicted, usually every eight to ten years. The lynx is regarded as a highly valuable fur bearer and is harvested throughout its range, primarily by trapping. Currently prime pelts may bring from $200 to $300 each. Unit 9 Lynx occur in low numbers throughout most of Unit 9 north of Port Heiden. No additional information is currently available on their status in this unit. 69 Unit 17 0 Lynx are present throughout most of Unit 17. No additional infor- mation is available. Unit 10 Lynx do not occur in Unit 10. 0 , I 0 70 ........................ . ............. ....................................... ..... . ............ .................. .......... .............. ..... .. .................. ..................... ....................... ..................... ..................... FIGURE .......... ...... ............. ........... ........................................ ........ DISTRIBUTION - LYNX ..................... ................ ............ o" PRIBILOF IS. .......... ............ ............ ............. .. ................ ............... ............... .. ............. ............. ......... ... ........ ... ......... .... ......... .... ......... ... ........... ............ ............ .. ............ .. ............. ............ . ............ . ... .... . .. PA( %p, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS % 4D (D C) WOLVERINE The wolverine (Gulo.luscus) is the largest North American land member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). They occur throughout northern North America in Canada, Alaska and a few northwestern states. In Alaska they occur throughout the mainland and on a few islands in southeasten. Wolverines inhabit forests and tundra from sea level into the mountains. Although they have a wide distribution throughout the state they are nowhere found in high densities. Wolverines are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of material including small mammals and birds, fruits, berries, insect larvae and carrion. They generally breed during May through July. Following delayed implantation, parturition occurs from January through April. Kits, born in a den, usually number two to three. The specific habitat requirements for the wolverine are unknown. They occur over a large area of diverse country where food is abundant. There is no evidence, however that wolverine predation adversely affects game populations or causes excessive economic loss. The wolverine is considered a valuable furbearer and a single hide is often worth $250. Units 9 and 17 Wolverines occur through Units 9 and 17. Although these populations currently appear to be relatively abundant, specific population data and numbers are not available. In Unit 9 they are often seen along the Bering Sea beaches. 72 Harvest figures for these Units and Unit 10 are presented in Table 4. Since 1971 the annual harvest has averaged 69 animals in Unit 9 and 41 animals in Unit 17. This harvest has, in the past, been conducted primarily by trapping. Recently, however hunting has become more common. Most of this harvest is by local residents for the fur trade. Some additional animals are also taken for local domestic use such as for parka ruffs. Nonconsumptive use in these units is low, primarily because wol- verines are only infrequently observed. The only area set aside for nonconsumptive use is the Katmai National Monument in Unit 9. Unit 10 Wolverines occur in Unit 10 only on Unimak Island. Their status there is currently unknown. Harvest pressure is very limited thus few animals are taken annually. Nonconsumptive use is minimal in this unit. 73 Table 4. Wolverine harvest Units 9, 10 and 17. Total Harvested Date Unit 9 Unit 10 Unit 17 62-63 14 8 63-64 34 70 64-65 39 7 65-66 40 27 66-67 63 31 67-68 43 35 68-69 10 24 69-70 5 70-71 71-72 46 0 21 72-73 71 0 45 73-74 89 2 22 74-75 72 0 78 No data available. -7.4 Table 5. 1974-1975 Wolverine harvest, Unit 9. Month Number Percent Month Number Percent July January 11 15.3 August -- -- February 17 23.6 September 1 1.4 March 20 27.7 October 5 7.0 April -- November 2 2.8 May December 16 22.2 June Unknown -- TOTAL 72 100 Method of Take Number Percent Ground Shooting 36 50 Trapping 36 50 Snaring -- -- Other -- -- TOTAL 72 100 Sex Harvest Males 48 Females 18 Unknown 6 TOTAL 72 0 75 Table 6. 1974-1975 Wolverine harvest, Unit 17. Month Number Percent Month Number Percent July January 5 6.4 August -- -- February 31 39.6 September 2 2.5 March 28 36.1 October -- -- April 4 5.1 November 1 1.3 May -- -- December 7 9.0 Unknown -- -- TOTAL 78 100 Method of Take Number Percent Ground Shooting 31 39.6 Trapping 46 59.1 Snaring 1 1.3 Other -- -- TOTAL 78 100 Sex Harvest Males 50 Females 25 Unknown 3 TOTAL 78 0 76 0 ................................... ........... ........... .................................. ........ ... . ..... ....... ............. I.......... .................................................... ............... ...... ....A................................................................ ... ................... ................................................................ ...................... ................................................................. ... .................. ................................................................ ... ................. ............................................................... .. ................ ................ ................................................. ... ............... ........ ... ........... .. ...................... 4........................ ............ .................................................................. .. ............... ............................ I..................................... .. .............. .................................................................. ... .... ........ .. ......... ..................................... ................. ... ........................... FIGURE 6. ..... ...... ..... ....... ................... ................................................................ ................. ................................................................. ........... .. ............................................. .. ....................... ................... .. ................................................... .......I................. .............. .............................................................. .... ............................................................... .. .... ........................ ...................... ...................................... ... ..............................I................................ ........................ .................................... DISTRIBUTION W 0 L V E R I N E .... .............. I....... ..................... ................................................ .. .......................................... .. ............. ...... .. ........ ................................................ ....... ........ .... . ........................ ............ .. .................................. ............. ............................... .................................................... .. ........................................................... ................................... ...... .............................. I...... ..... ...... ................... ....... . .. ...................... ............... ............... . . .. ................... -el ....... ........................ ...... ......................... Q2 ... ............................ .. ............................ .... . ........................... . ......... PRIBILOF IS. .. ........................... .......... .................... .. ............................ ............................... ............................. .. . ....................... .. ....................... ..... ............ .... ..................... ... .... .................. . .. .. ................. .... ............ ... .. ............... -............ ... ................. ... . ................. .... -............... ..... . ................. .... .. .................. . I. .. .................... .. ... ..................... . ... .................... ........................ .. ...... .................. ... ... .................... .... . . ................. ... .... .. .... ................ ... .................. . .... ... .................. I.. .... .. .................... ...... .. ................... .. ..... .. .................. .. ... . .................. - .. . ................... .. . . ..................... .... ...... . ..................... ... .... ..................... . .... ...................... .... ........ .. . ......... ................ .. ........... ........ ................... . ......... .............. . . ... ......... .. ... . . ..... ...... . .... .............. PA P, S ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 MARTEN The marten (Martes americana) occurs throughout Alaska except for the Arctic Slope, Seward Peninsula, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and most of the Alaska Peninsula. The distribution of marten is limited primarily to climax spruce forests from sea level to timberline. This forest community therefore is the critical habitat element for this species. Marten may occur in limited numbers however, throughout the deciduous forests of the interior. Marten food habits vary according to what food items are available. During the summer and fall berries constitute an important part of the diet. Throughout the year microtine rodents, red squirrels, hares, birds and carrion are taken relative to their abundance. On the coasts marten also forage along beaches. Marten breed during the summer months. Parturition generally occurs in April, following a long gestation period of from 220 to 290 days (approximately five months of this period are the result of delayed implantation). Litter size ranges from two to four young which are usually born in a den located in a hollow tree or log. Sexual maturity is reached at about two years of age. The marten is one of the most important furbearers in Alaska. Prior to 1973 the annual statewide harvest averaged 8,000 animals. Following an increase in fur prices however, trapping pressure increased substantially. Although trapping pressure often influences local marten densities, loss of habitat has a greater influence on overall numbers. Unit 9 Marten are restricted primarily to the areas of Unit 9 where 7 8 climax spruce forests occur. Consequently, they are limited mainly to the northern portion of this unit and are not present on most of the Alaska Peninsula. No additional information is currently available on their status in Unit 9. Unit 10 Marten do not occur in Unit 10. Unit 17 Marten have been observed in the lower Mulchatna drainage. They probably occur throughout suitable habitat in the northern portion of Unit 17. No additional information is currently available on their status in Unit 17. 79 ........... ........... ........... .......... FIGURE 7. ........... ........... ITION MARTEN ........ ....... ............... ... ........... .......... PRIBILOF IS. op 0 PA 00 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 DID MINK The mink (Mustela vison), a member of the family Mustelidae, is one of the most important furbearers inhabiting Alaska. Mink occur throughout the entire state except for most of the Arctic slope, the offshore islands of the Bering Sea, the Aleutians west of Unimak and the Kodiak group. Preferred mink habitats include wetland areas associated with streams, ponds and marshes, and coastal beaches. However, during periods when microtine rodent and hare populations are abundant they often move inland in search of these prey species. Mink utilize a wide variety of food resources which include fish, birds, eggs, small mammals and invertebrates. Of the small mammals, snowshoe hares, microtine rodents and muskrats are commonly consumed. -Their diet varies both regionally and seasonally relative to prey availability. In Alaska mink breed from March through late April. Some latitudinal variability in breeding occurs with southern populations generally breeding two weeks earlier than northern populations. Gestation varies from 40 to 75 days with an average of 51 days. This great variability is a result of delayed implantation which is characteristic of many of the mustelids. Parturition usually occurs during mid-June. The average litter is five with a range of from four to ten. This variability in litter size is related to prey density. Mink [email protected] reproductively mature at one year of age. Mink are one of the most important furbearers in Alaska. They are harvested by trapping and provide a source of income and recreation for many Alaskans. In a single year the combined income generated from mink trapping exceeded one million dollars (Burns, 1968). The highest quality mink found in the state occur in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Units 9 and 17 Mink occur throughout both Units 9 and 17. This species is harvested locally throughout its suitable habitat (refer to general account). No other information is available on the status of this species in either of these units. Unit 10 Mink occur in Unit 10 only on Unimak Island where they are taken by trappers (Murie, 1959). No other information is available on the status of Unimak Island mink. 82 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... . . . . . . . ... w....w...w..4,... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F I G U RE 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .w. . . . . . . . . .4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .w. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DISTRIBUTION - M I N K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.w. . . w. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . w. . . . . . . w. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . w. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . w. . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 . w . . w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q? . . . ..... . . . . . . . .... w..w.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P R I B I L 0 F IS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O\- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . j3 00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PA( . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . L L ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 00 SHORT-TAILED WEASEL The short-tailed weasel or ermine (Mustela erminea) occurs throughout Alaska except for the offshore islands of the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands west of Unimak. Short-tailed weasels prefer forested or brushy areas in broken terrain. They occur however, throughout a wide range of habitats. The primary prey of the short-tailed weasel includes microtine rodents, shrews and mice. Other prey items included in their diet consist of birds, eggs, young hares, pikas, insects and fish. Predators of this weasel include owls, hawks, falcons, lynx, fox, coyotes and mink. Short-tailed weasels usually breed during their second summer. Parturition takes place during April or May, following a ten month gestation. Litter size usually ranges between four and eight young. As a furbearer, the short-tailed weasel is not of major importance. It is usually taken incidental to the trapping of other furbearers. The value of the average pelt is generally worth less than $1. Units 9 and 17 Short-tailed weasels are present in both Units 9 and 17. No other information is available on their status in these units. Unit 10 Short-tailed weasels are present only on Unimak Island in Unit 10. No additional information is available. 84 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIGURE ........ . .................... .. ................ m DISTRIBUTION SHORT-TAILED WEASEL ........... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .:-:.:.:-:-:1: -:.: .:-:I:- :-:-: .:-X . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . -..-*-,,--* .:-: . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Z2 P R 113 1 LO F IS. Ov .. ................. .. ...... ... ............ co .......... X c-n .. ........ 410 PAC S . . . . . 00 0 ALEUTI AN ISLANDS 61T 0 0 vc-A DID LEAST WEASEL The least weasel (Mustela rixosa occurs throughout the state except in southeastern Alaska south of Glacier Bay, the southeastern corner of southcentral Alaska, the offshore islands of the Bering Sea, the Aleutians west of Unimak Island and the Kodiak Island area. This weasel is sparsely distributed throughout its range except along the Arctic Slope where it becomes abundant, especially during periods of high microtine rodent populations. Least weasels occur throughout a variety of habitats including forests and tundra. Least weasels prey primarily on mice and voles. They also feed on birds, insects and worms. Five young are usually born during the spring. Owls, hawks, and a variety of mammalian predators prey on the least weasel.. Their population densities, however, are probably most influenced by prey abundance. Trapping of this species is minimal. Units 9, 10 and 17 Least weasels occur in limited numbers throughout these units. In Unit 10 they occur only on Unimak Island. No other information is available on their status in these units. 86 ... . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . FIGURE 10. .............. ..... ...... ............. ...... .. ...... . ............ .... ........... . ................ .............. ............. DISTRIBUTION LEAST WEASEL ... ...... ............. ................ ............ ............. ...... .............. ............. ................ ................... ................... .. ........... ................... . ........... .......... . .... ... ............. ........... .......... .... ...... PRIBILOF IS. .. ........ .. ........... ............ ........ .. ............... .............. ............... . ............ ............. . .. .... .................... .......................... . I................. . ... .................... ............... .. ........ ....... ..... ................. ... ..... .. ...... I............... .................. . .............. ........ ............. .. .. .......... ..... . ..... ..... .......... ....... .... ................ PA #0 0 [email protected] ALEUT IAN ISLANDS 0 DID LAND OTTER The land, or river, otter (Lutra canadensis) occurs in suitable habitat throughout Alaska except for most of the area north of the Brooks Range, the Aleutian Islands west of Unimak and the offshore islands of the Bering Sea. Preferred otter habitat includes areas associated with streams and rivers or coastal marine shorelines. Consequently, otter are most abundant statewide, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim. River Deltas and in the southcentral and southeastern coastal regions. Throughout the coastal areas otter populations are relatively stable since food is usually abundant in these marine environments. The food habits of land otters are varied. In the interior they prey on freshwater fishes, frogs, birds, small mammals and insects as well as consuming some plant material. On the coast however, their diet also includes a variety of marine invertebrates, such as shellfish and crustaceans, saltwater fishes and marine birds. In Alaska land otters usually breed during May. Following a ges- tation period of between nine and thirteen months (like most mustelids, otters undergo delayed implantation), the young are born between Feb- ruary and June. One to six (an average of three) young are usually born in an underground den. Land otters are trapped commerically in many parts of the state. Prime pelts are worth between $60 and $80 on the fur market. Most of the harvest is taken from the southeast, southcentral and Yukon-Kus- kokwim Delta regions. Land otters are also an important nonconsumptive resource in terms of providing photography and viewing opportunities. 88 Units 9, 17 and 10 Land otter occur in suitable habitat throughout Units 9 and 17, and on Unimak Island in Unit 10. They occur in both freshwater lakes and streams and in saltwater along the shorelines. Along the coast they often swim some distance to the islands lying offshore. No other information is available on their status in these units. 89 . ................... ....... . ..... .............. ................... .... . ........ . .................. ............ ...... ... .............. ...... ............ .. ......... .... ..... ............ . ............. .. ......................... . ............. ... ......... .. ............... FIGURE 1 1. .......... ................... ............................................. ..... ...... ...................................... ....... ....... .......... ........ .... ............. DISTRIBUTION - L A N D 0 T T E R ............ ..................................................... .. ....................................................... .. ................................ ................... . ........ .......... ............ .. .......... ........................ . ........... ................... . .... ... ............................... ......... .... ................ . ............................ ... .................................................. I........... .................. ... ............ .................. ....... .......................... ................. I ... ....... .. ......... .. ................:.................. ... ..................... ................................. ........... ................... ..................... . . .... .... ............ ........ ......................... .. . ............. . ......... PRIBILOF IS. .......... .. ........................... .. ...... ............ ...... .... ................... ........................ ................ ........ ...... ............. .. ...................... .... ........................ .... ... .................... ... ........................ .......... .. ..................... ... . .............. .............. .................... ... ................... .. ................ ............... ...... ........... ... ................ ... .. .................. ..... .. ................. ....... ... .. ................... ...... .... I......... .. ..... ......................... ....................... .... .. ..................... .... ... ......... ... ................ .... ... ..... ..... ....... .... co ... .............. .... ...... .. ...... ....... CD ....... ................ ......... .. ..... .... ........ . .... .... ..... ... ..... ........ ....... ......... . ...... ...... .... .......... ........ ... . .......... .... .......... .. ............ PA ALEUTIAN ISLANDS BEAVER The beaver (Castor canadensis), a large aquatic rodent, is widely distributed over most of the North American Continent. Beaver occur throughout most of the state of Alaska south of the Brooks Range. They do not occur in the Aleutians, in the far western portion of either the Seward or Alaska Peninsulas and they only occasionally occur on the Kuskokwim Delta. Beaver occur from sea level up to 4,000 feet along slow moving rivers, streams and lakes where willow, aspen, birch, poplar and cottonwood are present. Beaver consume a variety of vegetation including the leaves and bark of deciduous trees and shrubs as well as roots and stems of aquatic vegetation and sedges. Conifers are also used occasionally in some areas. During spring and early summer succulent plants are consumed while during fall and winter beaver are limited primarily to the bark of shrubs and trees. Beaver seem to prefer aspen although willow is probably the most important forage staple. Birch, cottonwood and poplar are also important forage species. Most beaver colonies collect a winter food supply during the fall. This food supply is usually placed in a winter storage pile anchored in the mud on the bottom of the pond near the beaver's lodge. Beavers are well known for their construction of dams and lodges. These are usually built of mud and sticks on slow moving streams. Most of this activity occurs at night or during dawn and dusk. A beaver colony consisting of a pair of adults, young of the year and yearlings, generally occupies a single lodge. Not all beavers build winter lodges or dams, however. Some simply burrow into the banks of streams or 91 lakes. Adult beaver breed from January through March. Their gestation period is believed to be around 100 days. Parturition occurs from late April to Late June. The average litter generally consists of four kits. During spring the two year old kits are driven from the colony. They soon disperse and generally form colonies of their own. As one of the state's most valuable furbearers, beaver played an integral part in Alaska's history. Beaver pelts and castoreum were extensively exported during both the early Russian trade and later under U.S. Territorial status. Following American occupation beaver were harvested to the point that their populations declined to low levels and the taking of beaver was eventually prohibited in 1910. The season was opened in 1921 and more than 16,000 beaver were harvested before the season was again closed in 1922. The Alaska Game Commission reopened the season'in 1926 with an annual limit of 20 beavers. From 1926 to 1929 about 60,000 beaver pelts were exported from Alaska. Since 1932 to the present, beaver seasons have been regulated according to the regional abundance of these animals. Although the value of beaver pelts has not risen at the same rate as other furs, beaver are still considered one of the states most important furbearers. Currently the average pelt is valued between $30 and $40. Since 1957 beaver pelts have been sealed and measured. This has provided annual harvest statistics as well as the age structure of the harvest. A harvest of over 20 percent kits in any given area generally reflects an overharvested population. The nonconsumptive value of beaver, for viewing and photography, is relatively high throughout many areas of the state. Beaver are also valuable in that their dams create water impoundments which are often 92 beneficial to many other wildlife species. Unit 9* Beaver are abundant throughout the northern portion of Unit 9. They may occur in limited numbers down the Peninsula as far south as Port Moller. Except adjacent to villages, trapping pressure (primarily by local residents) is relatively light throughout this unit. In regions immediately adjacent to villages, especially in the Kvichak watershed, trapping pressure keeps populations relatively low. The 1974-75 harvest of beavers in Unit 9 was 439 animals. Recent harvest statistics for this unit are presented in Table 7. Critical beaver habitat includes those areas of willow and hardwood forests adjacent to lakes and slow .moving streams. No other information is currently available on the status of beaver in this unit. Unit 10* Beaver do -not occur in Unit 10. Unit 17* Historically the Nushagak-Mulchatna drainages in Unit 17 have been one of the major beaver producing areas in the state. While beaver populations are generally der-lining near villages throughout this unit, they have been increasing in areas which are more inaccessible to trapping pressure. In these more remote areas active beaver lodges are as much as five times as abundant as in areas near villages. Harvest data show that in areas close to villages over 35 percent of the take includes kits, while in more remote areas the harvest of kits averages 10 percent 93 Table 7. Beaver harvest statistics for Unit 9, 1969-1975. Total No. No. Average No. Year Limit % Kits % Kits & Yearlings % Adults Beaver Trappers Beaver/Trapper 1969 40 and 15* 23.4 34.4 66.0 148 17 8.7 1970 40 and 15* 19.6 34.2 65.8 419 37 11.3 1971 40 and 15* 26.4 42.7 57.3 246 25 9.8 1972 40 and 20* 21.3 36.0 64.0 337 27 12.5 1973 40 and 20* 19.7 35.4 64.6 726 57 12.7 1974 40 and 20* 23.8 42.0 57.0 439 35 12.5 1975 40 and 20* 22.2 33.6 66.4 451 43 10.5 C.0 4'- This unit was divided into two subdivisions with different bag limits. or less. Beaver trapping in this unit is a traditional winter activity. Thus trapping generally occurs regardless of fluctuating fur prices. Recent harvest statistics for this unit are presented in Table 8. Currently the beaver season in the lower portion of Unit 17 is closed. This area is not expected to reopen until survey data indicate an increase in population density. Critical beaver habitat in this unit is similar to that described for Unit 9. Jim Faro, A.D.F.&G., Area Biologist, King Salmon, pers. comm. 95 Table 8. Beaver harvest statistics for Unit 17, 1960-1975. Total No. No. Average No. Year Limit % Kits % Kits & Yearlings % Adults Beaver Trappers Beaver/Trapper 1960 15 24.3 34.2 65.8 3,721 279 13.3 1961 15 23.1 24.7 65.2 2,849 230 12.3 1962 15 29.5 41.5 58.5 1,903 175 10.8 1963 15 23.3 36.8 63.2 2,172 189 11.5 1964 15 28.4 38.4 61.6 1,766 180 9.8 1965 15 22.1 34.9 65.1 957 97 9.9 1966 15 25.2 37.9 62.1 1,424 143 10.0 M 1967 15 25.3 37.0 63.0 2,711 215 12.6 1968 20 25.7 36.4 63.6 3,158 198 15.9 1969 No Harvest Reported Est. 1,750 Est. 150 Est. 11.6 1970 15 22.6 34.1 65.9 1,190 48 10.1 1971 15 27.5 41.0 59.0 824 80 10.3 1972 15 20.5 34.0 66.0 762 70 10.9 1973 15 23.9 35.8 64.2 k-,849 163 11.3 1974 15 23.9 36.6 63.4 1, 681 169 9.9 1975 15 15.8 27.2 72.8 928 85 10.9 Table 9. Aerial beaver cache surveys, GMU 17, Bristol Bay, 1974 and 1975. 1975 1974 River 1975 1974 % Time Time River Miles Caches M/C M/C Change (Min.) (Min.) Klutuk 47 34 1.38 2.5 -45% 24 25 Kokwok 30 24 1.25 .7 79% 26 36 Iowithla 62 48 1.29 1.72 -25% 38 40 Sunshine 25 17 1.47 1.14 29% 11 N.A. Togiak 76 25 3.04 N.A. N.A. 37 N.A. Ongivinuk 32 25 1.28 1.03 24% 22 24 Harris 29 21 1.38 1.5 - 8% 12 20 Mosquito 29 46 .63 .66 - 5% 18 20 Mulchatna 52 101 .51 .44 16% 46 80 Stuyahok 40 43 .93 .63 48% 22 40 Average M/C 1975 = 1.32 Average M/C 1974 = 1.15 1975 15% increase in M/C 97 ................ ........... .... .......... ...... ........ ............. .. ..... .................. FIGURE . . . . . . . . . . 12. ......... . . ............... . . .............. ............... .. .......... . ..... ............ DISTRIBUTION BEAVER ... ............. I.......... ............................................... .. ........ ........................... ................. ... ....... . .......... PRIBILOF IS. . ........................... ... ....... .. ........ . ......... .. ........ .. .......... ... .................. . ................. . ............... .... ................... .. ... ................. ... .... I ............ ... ............... . .................. .. ................... . ................ .... . ........... . ................ CID co do PA [email protected] 00 0 %S ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 4D DID MUSKRAT Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) occur throughout most of the Alaskan mainland except the Arctic Slope north of the Brooks Range. They are relatively sparse however, throughout the southeastern portion of the state. Muskrats inhabit water associated areas bordering fresh and saltwater marshes, rivers, streams and lakes. However, they sometimes travel several miles from water. Muskrats feed on a variety of material including sedges, aquatic plants, invertebrates and fish. They construct houses out of vegetation and sometimes nest in association with beavers. Muskrats begin breeding in March or April. Their gestation period is approximately thirty days. They usually produce two litters per year with an average of six young per litter. High mortality is generally characteristic of most muskrat pop- ulations. The mink is the primary predator of the muskrat. In the interior, muskrat populations are also influenced by extreme winter temperatures which cause many lakes and ponds to freeze solid. For example, during winters when ice thickness of five feet or more are common, muskrat populations throughout the interior are substantially reduced. The muskrat is an important furbearer in Alaska in terms of total numbers taken. Apporximately 40,000 are harvested annually, more than any other furbearer. Although the muskrat season begins in November and terminates in June, most animals are taken during the last six weeks of the season. Eighty percent of muskrats harvested in Alaska are taken by shooting with a .22 caliber rifle. Statewide only a small proportion of good muskrat habitat is hunted or trapped. 99 Unit 9 Muskrats are present in suitable habitat throughout Unit 9 west to the vicinity of Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula. No other informa- tion is available on the status of muskrats in this unit. Unit 10 Muskrats do not occur in Unit 10. Unit 17 Muskrats occur in suitable habitat throughout Unit 17 where they are moderately trapped for commercial use. No other information is currently available on their status in this unit. 100 . ......... ........ .... FIGURE 13. .......... . ......... DISTRIBUTION - MUSKRAT ... .... ... ....... PRIBILOF IS. dl- .. ... . . ..... C) .. .... ...... 0 PAC 00 0 L C.) ALEUTIAN ISLANDS C) o VID MARMOT The hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) inhabits the mountainous regions of mainland Alaska. It prefers talus slopes bordering meadow vegetation, near or above timberline. Marmots are herbivores. They consume a variety of green vegetation, including tender stems and leaves of grasses and forbs. Marmots breed shortly after they emerge from hibernation. Following a gestation period of approximately one month a single litter is produced which numbers three to eight young. During the summer they accumulate fat which enables them to enter their winter hibernation in a burrow under the snow. Their primary predators include golden eagles, coyotes, wolves and wolverines. Although marmot fur is sometimes used locally for parka trim there is no commercial market for them. Where these animals are abundant they provide viewing and photographic opportunities for the wildlife observer. Units 9 and 17 Marmots occur in the mountainous areas of Units 9 and 17. They are reported to occur as far west as Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula (Howell, 1915). No other information is available on their status in these Units. Unit 10 Marmots do not occur in Unit 10. 102 ... ........ ......... .. ....... ... FIGURE 14. . . .. ........... DISTRIBUTION MARMOT PRIBILOF IS. 0\- . . ....... . . . . . . . .. . C:@ CA) PAC 00 0 P'Leo-f 0 0 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS @3J DO ARCTIC GROUND SQUIRREL Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus undulatus) occur throughout most of Alaska from sea level into the mountains. They are not present in southeastern Alaska, the Prince William Sound region or the Kenai Peninsula. They prefer open areas with vegetated well drained soils. Throughout such areas they occur in small to moderate sized colonies. During the summer period ground squirrels forage on seeds, roots, plant stems and leaves, mice, insects and carrion. Throughout this period they store up large fat reserves which enable them to go into hibernation over the long arctic winter. They hibernate in underground burrows beneath the snow. In some regions hibernation may last up to seven or eight months. Following a 25 day gestation period, four to eight young are born, usually in June or July. Predators of the ground squirrel include grizzly bears, wolves, foxes, wolverines and raptors. Ground squirrels are sometimes used locally for meat and fur. Units 9 and 17 Arctic ground squirrels are present in suitable habitat throughout Units 9 and 17. No other information is currently available on their status in these units. Unit 10 Arctic ground squirrels are indigenous to Unimak Island. They have been introduced to Unalaska, Umnak, and Kavalga Islands. No other information is available on their status in this unit. 104 .... . . ....... . .. ... ........... FIGURE '15. DISTRIB ARCTIC GROUND UTION SQUIRREL . . . . . . . . . . . PRIBILOF IS. oll C) PAC [email protected] 4=0 <=) AL ALEUTIAN ISLANDS RED SQUIRREL Red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) inhabit most of forested Alaska, principally throughout the coniferous forests. They do not occur north of the Brooks Range, on most of the Seward Peninsula, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta or the lower portion of the Alaska Peninsula approximately south of the Naknek River. Throughout most of interior Alaska the primary food item of the red squirrel is the seed of the white spruce. They also utilize seeds and leaf buds of other conifers and hardwood trees. Red squirrels produce one litter per year averaging four young per litter. Breeding usually occurs during late April or May with parturition occurring during late May or June. Predators include marten, fox and raptors. A few squirrels are hunted or trapped while others provide viewing and photography opportunities for the wildlife observer. Units 9 and 17 Red squirrels occur in suitable habitat throughout these units. No other information is available on their current status. Unit 10 Red squirrels are not present in Unit 10. 106 .............. ... . . ..... ...... .. .. . .. .. . ...... ... ...... FIGURE 16. .. ....... ... ....... ..... .... . .. ..... . DISTRIBUTION - RED SQUIRREL ............ ...... ..... .. .. .... . .... ......... . ..... .... ......... .......... ... ..............I.............. ... ...... . . . ............ . ... ..... ... ... .. ...... .... ...... . ..... ... ... . . ............................ .... . ...... ............ PRIBILOF IS. C)\- C3 nq P a,, PAC [email protected] 'po 0 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 [email protected] DID NORTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL The northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) is a seldom observed nocturnal tree squirrel. It occurs throughout the boreal forests of Alaska, preferring open stands of mixed deciduous-coniferous forests. The range of this species in Alaska is poorly defined since it is so seldom observed. Flying squirrels forage at night both in the trees and on the ground. Their diet includes arboreal lichens and buds, leaves, seeds, fruits and nuts as well as insects, birds and eggs when available. It also sometimes feeds on carrion. Flying squirrels produce one litter per year which averages three young usually born in May. This squirrel is generally quite sociable and is often found together in small groups. Although flying squirrels are often caught in marten traps they are of no value as a furbearer. Consequently many trappers consider them a nuisance. Units 9 and 17 Flying squirrels probably occur throughout the forested areas in the northern portions of Units 9 and 17. No other information is available on the status of this species in these units. Unit 10 Flying squirrels do not occur in Unit 10. 108 ......................... .......... .......... .................. ................. .................. FIGURE 17. ................... ................. DISTRIBUTION FLYING SQUIRREL .................. PRIBILOF IS. C:) PACI t50lt4DS ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PORCUPINE Porcupines (Erthizon dorsatum) occur throughout most of the state of Alaska. They are absent or rare on the northern slope of the Brooks Range, the Seward Peninsula, the delta regions of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and most coastal islands. The porcupine is primarily a forest animal. In Alaska it inhabits both conifer and deciduous forests as well as willow thickets along water courses. It does, however, occasionally wander far from timbered areas. Porcupines feed primarily on the cambium layer (inner bark) of spruce, birch and aspen during the winter. In summer their diet consists of a variety of green vegetation 'including the leaves, buds and twigs of forbs, shrubs and trees. Porcupines are solitary animals and are most active during nocturnal periods. They utilize natural cavities or depresssions for shelter and nesting. Porcupines generally breed during November. Following a sixteen week gestation period they produce a single young. Natural predators of the porcupine include wolves, coyotes, fox lynx and wolverines. Units 9 and 17 Porcupines occur throughout both Units 9 and 17. They inhabit the entire Alaska Peninsula where they are found far from timbered areas. No other information is available on their status in these units. Unit 10 Porcupines do not occur in Unit 10 except (according to Manville and Young, 1965) on Unimak Island. 10 ............... ..... ... . ....... . . FIGURE 18. . ... ... DISTRIBUTION - PORCUPINE PRIBILOF 18. 0\- .......... PAC ISL L ALEUTIAN ISLANDS [email protected] 'o [email protected] SNOWSHOE HARE Two species of hare occur in Alaska, the snowshoe hare and the tundra hare. The snowshoe or varying hare (Lepus americanus.) is the most common and widespread of these species. It occurs in suitable habitat throughout the state. Snowshoe hares are absent from the lower portion of the Alaska Peninsula, the northern portion of the Arctic Coast and most islands. They are relatively sparse in the southeastern portion of the state. During population lows they are also rare north of the Brooks Range and in the tundra areas of the Seward Peninsula and in the lower Kuskokwim. Delta. Snowshoe hares inhabit a variety of habitat types including sub- alpine areas, brush lands, white spruce-birch communities, black spruce communities and riparian areas. Habitat types most preferred include riparian areas with an abundance of willow, and aspen and birch commun- ities with brushy understories of willow, alder, highbush cranberry and wild rose. Disturbances such as fire or logging, which increase the abundance of brushy understory species providing cover, usually enhance snowshoe hare habitat. Snowshoe hares feed on succulent grasses, buds, twigs, and leaves during the summer. During winter they consume the twigs and needles of spruce and the bark and buds of many hardwood species. Hares are gen- erally nocturnal, but forage most actively during dawn and dusk periods. During years when hare populations are high they often cause extensive range damage by girdling the bark of willows and other browse species. This range deterioration often affects the range conditions for other species such as moose and deer. 112 The snowshoe hare generally has two or someti-mes three litters per 0 year. It breeds for the first time at about one year of age and has a gestation period of approximately 36 days. The first litter, usually averaging four young is born around the middle of May. Females breed shortly after the birth of a litter. The young are usually born on the surface of the ground in an unlined natural depression usually concealed by vegetative cover. Hares, in contrast to rabbits, are fully furred at birth with eyes open. The snowshoe hare is a cyclic species. Population peaks usually occur approximately every ten years. During these peaks population densities sometimes average over 2,000 hares per square mile. Local hare abundance however, may sometimes vary substantially from the gen- eral pattern over a larger geographical area. When populations are high snowshoe hares are often found occuring in marginal habitat where none occurred during population lows. Snowshoe hares are an important food resource for many furbearers. They are the primary prey of the lynx whose populations fluctuate in response to the hare cycle. Hares are also prey for red fox, mink, weasels and great horned owls. Although snowshoe hares are of little commercial value, during population highs they constitute an important resource for sport hunting and for subsistence use. Most sport hunting occurs during the fall and winter months. This pressure is usually concentrated along road systems near villages and towns. Such harvests however, do not appear to substantially affect overall hare populations. Unit 9 Snowshoe hares occur throughout suitable habitat in the upper 113 portion Of Unit 9. They probably do not range far from the timberline any where in this unit. No other information is currently available on the status of the snowshoe hare in Unit 9. Unit 10 Snowshoe hares do not occur in Unit 10. Unit 17 Snowshoe hares are present in suitable habitat throughout Unit 17. Specimens have been collected at Nushagak, Lake Aleknaguk, Ekuuk, and Kakwok River. As in Unit 9, they probably do not range far from timber. No other information is available on their status in this unit. 114 0 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0. . . . . . . FIGURE 19. .. ..................... ......... ......... ..............0....... .... ... ........................... 0............. .......... 00 ......... ............... ..... .............. 0............. ....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DISTRIBUTION SNOWSHOE HARE .. .................... .. ......................... .............. 0....... ....... .... .................. ........... . ...................................... .......................... . ................................................. 0............... ................................... .......................... .. .......................................... ........... ......... .................. 0........... .. .......... .................. ... ........ -e ...0............. 1-1- .. ......... . . [email protected]:@:@:@:@:@:@:@:@@@:@:@:@:::@o,.,-,-,O,.,.*.*.*.".,-*-.,.,.,.,.,.,- .... - - - - - * ........... ............... ..... .. ........ ............. . ............ . . . . .. .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . ..... ... ...... .... ... ........... (Z2 .......................... ... .... ....... .................... ...-.................... 0.0 ... .. ........ .................... ..-...................... 0.0. ........... ........ .......... . -............... ......... . ................. PRIBILOF IS. ................. ........................... .. ........ 00.0.0.0 ............. . --oo ...................... .. ......... 0................... ........................ .. .......... ............ ....................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cil nq P PAC S 00 0 ALEUTIAN I S L A N D S TUNDRA HARE The tundra hare (Lepus othus) is the less common of the two hare species which occur in Alaska. It is distributed over most of the western coast of Alaska including the Alaska and Seward Peninsulas (Anderson, 1974). It may also occur in limited numbers along the western Arctic Coast and the northwestern slope of the Brooks range. The primary habitat of the tundra hare consists of windswept rocky slopes and upland tundra. Tundra hares usually avoid wooded areas and bottomlands. Although they are often abundant in the western coastal portion of their range, periodic fluctuation in their population numbers occur similar to the snowshoe hare. The tundra hare has been relatively unstudied. Thus little information is available on its status in Alaska. Tundra hare appear to feed primarily on low growing tundra shrubs, the most important being willow. According to Anderson (1974) parturition in this species generally coincides with the disappearance of snow cover, usually in May. The tundra hare produces only one litter per year, usually numbering six to seven young. The primary predators of tundra hares include the red fox, golden eagle, snowy owl and arctic fox (Anderson, 1974). The tundra hare is harvested locally by residents for meat and secondarily for the fur. Although the pelts are not commercially valuable, the fur is used locally for mittens and children's garments. Harvest of this hare is by herding and killing with clubs or by gun or snare. The statewide harvest is unknown. Units 9 and 17 Tundra hares occur in suitable habitat through both Units 9 and 17. 116 Murie (1959) reported observing tundra hares inhabiting alder thickets in this region. No further information is available on their status in these units. Unit 10 Tundra hares do not occur in Unit 10 except possibly (according to Manville and Young, 1965) on Unimak Island. 117 .... ........ .. .. .... . . . .... ....................... .... ....... . . .... ... .. .. . . . ............ . ............... .... ..... *"*"" .... ... ... .... . ...... ...... . ........... . .. . . .... .... ........... . ... .... ... ** . .. .. .. FIGURE 20. .................. @ii ............... ......... . . . .... .... .. .. i .. . .. . . .. ..... ................................ ....... . . . ... .. .... DISTRIBUTION TUNDRA HARE .. .. . ... .... . . . . ... ..... ... ... .. ... .... .. . .......... ... 11 ....I.... ... ............... .. ................................... . . ..... .. ......... ...... ....... ..................... .. . ....... .................. .. . . . ...... ... ... ...... ... . ... ... ... ... . . .. ... ............ ........ C-2 .. ... @i, . .... . ..... ..... . .. . ........ . .... .. ... ... ........ i,......--- PRIBILOF IS. . ...... .. . ... ... .. ........................... .... ...... .............. . .. ...... . .... ...... ..... ..... 00 -i ... .... . ..... . ........ PAC L ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 a. WILLOW PTARMIGAN Willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) are the most widely distributed species of ptarmigan in Alaska. They occur in suitable habitat through- out most of the state. They are absent from several coastal islands, the broad forested valleys of the interior and the dense forests of southeastern Alaska. Willow ptarmigan breed close to timberline often partially within the fringe of the coniferous forest woodland, along stream courses and in riparian shrub communities, usually between 2,000 and 2,800 feet elevation (Jerry McGowan, A.D.F.&G., Game Biologist, Fairbanks, pers. comm.). This species prefers wetter habitats than either the rock or white-tailed ptarmigan. Tall shrubs also appear to be an important feature of good willow ptarmigan habitat. The primary food of the willow ptarmigan consists of willows. During the summer they forage primarily on leaves of willow shrubs. Throughout the winter the buds, twigs and catkins of willow provide over four-fifths of their diet. Other items consumed during the year consist of invertebrates, berries and the flowers and shoots of many herbaceous plants. During April male ptarmigan establish and defend a breeding terri- tory. Females arrive later and select a mating area and mate. By late May or early June they have laid their first eggs. Eggs begin to hatch in late June or early July. Male willow ptarmigan, unlike the other two species of ptarmigan, remain with the female to help care for the young. By late summer ptarmigan families group together to form large flocks. By October the sexes separate as the females move to lower elevations and the males remain near their breeding range. The sexes remain 119 segregated throughout winter until the following breeding season. Willow ptarmigan populations are characterized by marked fluc- tuation in population densities with seven to nine years between peaks. Although these patterns may be evident over a large geographical area, local population densities often vary from the general pattern. Willow ptarmigan are harvested more heavily than either of the other two ptarmigan species. Sport hunting, which is mainly confined to the areas around major cities and road systems, generally accounts for fewer birds than does the subsistence harvest. The total harvest is greatly influenced by the local density of birds and the abundance of alternative game. Units 9 and 11 Willow ptarmigan are present in suitable habitat throughout Units 9 and 17, particularly in lower elevations and the area extending north and east of Lake Clark. Population highs occurred during the early 1960's and mid 1970's. These birds are harvested by local residents for recreation and subsistence. Unit 10 Willow ptarmigan are present in Unit 10 only on Unimak Island. No other information is available on their current status there. 120 FIGURE 21. .. .... .......... ............. DISTRIBUTION - WILLOW PTARMIGAN Q-2 PRIBILOF IS. . ..... .... . .... ... .. PACI 00 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS C) o DID ROCK PTARMIGAN Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), although not as widely distributed as willow ptarmigan, occur over much of the state. They do not occur on the northern Arctic Slope, the offshore islands of the Bering Sea, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the forested interior valleys, the central portion of the Alaska Peninsula or the islands of southeastern Alaska. Their preferred breeding habitat is the mountainous tundra area, with scat- tered shrubs and herbaceous vegetation, from timberline to approximately 3,500 feet elevation (Jerry McGowan, A.D.F.&G., Game Biologist, Fairbanks, pers. comm.). Although the range of this species sometimes adjoins that of the willow ptarmigan it generally occurs in higher elevations which are usually drier and rockier. During fall, winter and spring rock ptarmigan feed almost exclusively on the buds and catkins of dwarf birch. Throughout summer a variety of green herbaceous vegetation, insects, berries and seeds make up most of their diet. During April males select and defend a breeding territory. Females arrive later and begin laying their eggs during late May and early June. By late June and early July the eggs begin to hatch. Once incubation is in progress most males move toward the higher ridge tops. By late August females and chicks also move to higher elevations where they join the males in large flocks. During late September females move down to lower elevations near the forest edge while males remain on the breeding range throughout the winter. At this time flocks of each sex move in search of food in a nomadic fashion. Like the willow ptarmigan, rock ptarmigan populations display periodic fluctuations in numbers. Human harvest of rock ptarmigan is generally lighter than for willow ptarmigan. Hunting pressure is relative to population density. Units 9, 10 and 17 The distribution of rock ptarmigan in Unit 9 is limited to the mountainous northern region primarily along the Aleutian Range north of Becharof Lake. They also occur however, on the lower portion of the Alaska Peninsula in Unit 9, west of Port Moller. In Unit 17 they are limited to the higher elevations primarily in the northern portion. Rock ptarmigan occur on most of the major islands in the Aleutians from Unimak to Attu. Abundance indices indicate peaks in numbers during the early 1960's and mid 1970's. The birds are used by local residents for recreation and subsistence throughout these units. 123 22. FIGURE .................... . ........................ ................ . . ....................... ................ ............ ROCK PTARMIGAN DISTRIBUTION - .......... (Z2 ............ PRIBILOF IS. ov .......... . .................. ... .. ...... .6 .................... ........ PAC Sf., L ALEUTIAN ISLANDS Q?1_2 WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN of the three species of ptarmigan, the white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus) has the most limited distribution in the state. it occurs primarily in the mountains of southcentral and southeastern Alaska. They inhabit rugged, sparsely vegetated areas above timberline from 3,500 feet to over5,000 feet (Jerry McGowan, A.D.F.&G., Game Biologist, Fairbanks, pers. comm.). White-tailed ptarmigan forage on a wider variety of plants than do the other two species. During the summer they feed on insects and the tender leaves, buds and flowers of alpine plants. In fall they consume seeds and berries while during winter the diet changes to buds and twigs. The reproductive biology of the white-tail is similar to the other two species of ptarmigan. Breeding behavior begins in April and eggs are hatched by July. This species is not as migratory or nomadic as are the other two species of ptarmigan. Their populations are also not as prone to drastic fluctuations in numbers as are either the willow or rock ptarmigan. Because these birds are more inaccessible, less information is available on their biology. Also because of this inaccessibility they sustain a much lower harvest than do willow or rock ptarmigan. Unit 9 and 17 White-tailed ptarmigan occur only in the moutainous regions in the northern portions of Units 9 and 17. The southern limit of their 125 distribution appears to be in the region of the Katmai National Monument where they occur in limited numbers. No other information is available on their status in these units. Unit 10 White-tailed ptarmigan do not occur in Unit 10. FIGURE 23. DISTRIBUTION - WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN PRIBILOF IS. CZ) nq PAC 00% ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0%40 o 0. SPRUCE GROUSE Spruce grouse (Canachites canadensis) occur throughout most of the forested portions of the state. They inhabit mature white spruce-birch woodlands, black spruce bogs and in the southern portion of southeastern Alaska, Sitka spruce-hemlock forests. Throughout their range spruce grouse commonly occur along roadsides where they search for grit which aids in their digestion. During the winter spruce grouse forage almost exclusively on spruce needles. In summer and fall they feed on cranberries, blueberries, crowberries, various seeds and the flowers and leaves of herbaceous plants. Breeding activity usually begins in April with egg laying in May. Five to nine chicks are hatched in June. The male does not part- icipate in incubation or rearing of the young, but during September often associates with several females forming family flocks. By October these flocks disband and small groups settle in dense spruce stands for the winter. When abundant, spruce grouse are extensively hunted for recreation and subsistence. Unit 9 and 17 Spruce grouse occur throughout most of Unit 17 and Unit 9 north of the Naknek River. Within these units spruce grouse populations often undergo erratic fluctuation in numbers. Although their populations have recently declined in this region, they now appear to be relatively stable. Unit 10 Spruce grouse do not occur in Unit 10. 128 . ........ ......... ................. ...... ... ....... .............- .................. .. . ... FIGURE 24. ..... ... . . .. ............... . ........... ......... ............. ......... .......... . . .. DISTRIBUTION SPRUCE GROUSE ........ ... PRIBILOF IS. [email protected] nq PA C3 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS C-Q 0 DID RUFFED GROUSE Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) occur only in central Alaska and in a small portion of the southeastern mainland. They inhabit forested regions along major river drainages. Preferred habitat includes decid- uous woodlands interspersed with spruce, on relatively dry, well drained, south facing slopes. Like spruce grouse they commonly frequent road- sides where they seek grit. During spring, usually in April, male ruffed grouse establish territories by drumming with their wings on the tops of logs. Few ruffed grouse nests have been found in Alaska. Females and chicks usually remain together in shrubby moist areas near the woodland fringe until late September. Following breeding however, males remain segre- gated from the females and chicks. Ruffed grouse do not form flocks as do ptarmigan or sharp-tailed grouse. Populations of ruffed grouse display fluctuations in numbers similar to other grouse. Hunting pressure for this species is light in Alaska. Units 9 and 17 Ruffed grouse may occur in the extreme northern portions of Units 9 and 17. No other information is available on their status. Unit 10 Ruffed grouse do not occur in Unit 10. 130 . . . . . . . . . . .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIGURE 25. ... DISTRIBUTION SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, RUFFED GROUSE PRI131LOF IS. PAC wo 0 P, V_ ra vj-v%pt4 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 0 0 Vo Do SHARP-TAILED GROUSE Sharp-tailed grouse (Pediocetes phasianellus) are the least common of Alaska's upland game birds. Their occurrence within the state is limited primarily to the central interior. They inhabit a variety of forest and brushland situations associated with open to sparse canopy coverage. In the subarctic they appear to prefer burned-over areas, scrubby woodlands at timberline and muskegs. Open grassy areas are important features of the breeding grounds. Breeding activities begin in April or May as the males perform their courtship display on communal breeding grounds. Females often nest far from the breeding grounds and take the sole responsibility of incubation and caring for the young. During fall flocks are formed, but as winter approaches females and young leave the breeding area where the males remain throughout the winter. Sharp-tailed grouse feed on berries, seeds, insects, buds and catkins during the fall and winter. The summer diet in Alaska is unknown. As in other species of grouse, sharp-tailed populations fluctuate in numbers. The harvest of sharp-tailed grouse is relatively light throughout their range in Alaska. Unit 9 and 17 Sharp-tailed grouse may occasionally occur in the extreme northern portions of Units 9 and 17. No other information is available. Unit 10 Sharp-tailed grouse do not occur in Unit 10. 132 FURBEARERS - SMALL GAME - UPLAND GAME SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. 1961. Annual report of progress, 1960-61. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-6-R-2. Vol. II. No. 7 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp., 563 maps. 1975. Annual report of survey-inventory activities. Part IV. Furbearers, small game and wolverine. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17- 6, Jobs 7, 10, 15 and 22. Anderson, H. 1974. Natural history and systematics of tundra hare (Lepus othus Merriam) in western Alaska. M. S. Thesis, University of Alaska. 106 pp. Berrie, P. M. The lynx in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Bishop, R. H. 1970. Beaver report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17-2. Vol. X. 1971. Beaver report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17-3. Vol. XI. 1973. Beaver report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17-4 and W-17-5. Vol. XII. Bromley, D. 1972. The porcupine in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Burns, J. J. 1968. The mink in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Burris, 0. E. 1966. Furbearer report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Prj. W-6-R-6 and W-13-R-1. Vol. VII. 1968. Furbearer report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-13-R-2. Vol. VIII. 1969. Furbearer report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-13-R-3. Vol. VIII. 1971. Furbearer report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-17-1. Vol. IX. and D. E. McKnight. 1973. Game transplants in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wildlife Tech. Bull. No. 4. 57 pp. 133 Chesemore, D. 1967. Ecology of the arctic fox in northern and western Alaska. M. S. Thesis, U. of Alaska. Clark, A. H. 1945. Animal life of the Aleutian Islands. 31-61 pp., 75076, in Smithsonian Institution, War Background Studies No.21 Pub. No. 3775 Dufresne, F. 1946. Alaska's animals and fishes. Binfords and Mort, Portland, Oregon. 297 pp. Ellison, L. N. The grouse of Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series, Birds; No. 2 Ernest, J. R. 1971. The hare in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Howell, A. 1915. Revision of the North American marmots. North American Fauna No. 37. U. S. Biological Survey. Wash. D. C. Jennings, L. B. 1968. The red fox in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Manville, R. H. and S. P. Young. 1965. Distribution of Alaskan Mammals. U. S. Fish Wild. Serv. Circ. 211. 74 pp. Murie, 0. J. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. U.S. Fish Wild. Serv., N. Amer. Fauna 61. 406 pp. Preble, E. A. and W. L. McAtee. 1923. A biological survey of the Pribilof Islands, Alaska; I, Birds and mammals. U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey, North Am. Fauna 46. 128 pp. Rausch, R. A. The wolf in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series Mammals' No. 1. 2 pp. 1965. Furbearer report. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-6-R-5,6. Vol. VI. Solf, J. D. 1972. The land otter in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 pp. Weeden, R. B. The ptarmigan in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series No. 1 2 pp. 1965. Grouse and ptarmigan in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Wild. Proj. W-6-R-5, Work Plan I. and L. N. Ellison. 1968. Upland game birds of forest and tundra. Alaska Dept. Fish and Game. Wildlife Booklet No. 3. 44 pp. 134 MARINE MAMMALS Marine mammal populations in Alaska have been subjected to human utilization of varying intensities for many centuries. Remains of marine mammals in middens indicate the coastal dwelling natives utilized the resource to a high degree. Historical records indicate that hunting pressure prior to the early 1900's was so intensive that seal, sea lion and sea otter populations in much of Alaska were reduced to low levels. Pressure on seals and sea lions declined sometime after the turn of the 19th century, because natives were no longer dependent upon them for subsistence and white man turned to more economically attractive mat- erials. As a result, seal and sea lion numbers increased. In 1911, sea otters were included in the Fur Seal Treaty and all hunting, except for natives using aboriginal means, was made illegal. Very few otters were harvested over the next 40 years and in many areas numbers began to increase. With the exception of several species of whales, marine mammal populations are considered to be near or at carrying capacity over much of their range. In 1972, the United States Congress passed major domestic leg- islation setting U.S. foreign and domestic policy for the management of all marine mammals. This legislation took the form of The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. In Alaska, this act has done little more than to place a moritorium on the taking of marine mammals. Most marine mammals inhabit a very special environment - the near shore community. This environment is extremely susceptible to disturbance. In particular, petro-chemical developments along our 13 5 coast will inevitably result in the contamination of some marine ecosystems. Degradation of marine habitats, whether resulting from chronic low-level contamination or massive spills, may impact marine mammal populations by lowering ecological productivity as well as by direct injury to animals. The western portion of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands contain the largest numbers and variety of marine mammals to be found anywhere in the world. After over 100 years of exploitation, the sea otter remained in small groups that began to spread and today occupy a major portion of the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula. This area contains more sea lions than anywhere else in Alaska. Their present population probably exceeds 200,000 animals. The harbor seal occupies all of the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands, and Bristol Bay areas. Major pupping areas at Port Heiden and Port Moller annually support over 5,000 animals each. The Pribilof Islands have long been known for the millions of fur seals that inhabit the islands for a few months.each year to pup and breed. Whales are common throughout the area. These large mammals move through the Aleutian passes on their annual migrations. The beluga or white whale is a year round resident of Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea. Sea lions were once extensively used by coastal dwelling natives for subsistence purposes. The flesh was eaten, the intestines were used to make waterproof clothing and the hides were used for boots and boat coverings. White man harvested them for oil and hides. Today, there is no subsistence use of the resource. Before The Marine Mammal Act of 1972, a few adult sea lions were taken by commercial fishermen for shrimp or crab bait and an occasional animal was taken for food. 136 The only major use of the resource was a limited harvest of young animals Is for the fur industry. There is currently no established use of sea otters. Traditional use by Alaska natives ceased during the period of commercial hunting and subsequent closures. While the federal closure from 1911 to 1960 allowed for such use, there was no conflict when the state laws prohibiting any use went into effect in 1960. The present estimate of sea otters in Alaska is 100,000 to 125,000 (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1973). Little is known about harbor seal numbers prior to the 1920's. Bounty records and commerical harvest information indicate that the population continued to expand in spite of a continuing harvest. Harbor seals have long been used for subsistence purposes by natives. Today, there is essentially no subsistence use of this resource. Commerical harvesting of harbor seal skins reached its peak in 1965 and continued to decline each year thereafter. All harvesting of harbor seals ceased with the advent of the Marine Mammal Act of 1972. Because the fur seal is a migratory species that moves through international waters, its management on the Pribilof Islands is under federal jurisdiction. With international agreements, protection and wise management, the Pribilof fur seals have increased from a low point of about 216,000 animals in 1912 to their present level of over 1 1/4 million animals. 137 HARBOR SEAL The Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands extend over 1,000 miles from east to west and contain thousands of square miles of good seal habitat. The harbor seal population throughout this area is estimated to exceed 125,000 animals (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1973). Harbor seals found south of Arctic Alaska have long been utilized by coastal residents for foot gear, articles of clothing and souvenirs. Until the 1960's the number utilized for such purposes was small and only a small part of the available yearly harvest was needed to satisfy the demand. Formerly, seals taken in excess of those needed for domestic uses were hunted for bounty payment. In 1962-63 Alaskan harbor seals entered the European fur market, a market which annually consumes up to 500,000 seal skins. High prices were paid for raw seal skins, stimulating a great deal of interest in harvesting the animals. In 1964, an average prime adult skin was worth $20.00 to the hunter; choice pelts brought as much as $50.00; pup skins averaged about $17.00 each (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1964). Two areas, Port Heiden and Port Moller, received moderate to heavy hunting pressure in the 1960's, Table 1. Port Heiden sustained an annual harvest of 1,500 to 3,000 seals with no apparent effect on the population. Harvesting at Port Moller was less intense with 1,000 to 1,500 seal taken annually. The south side of the Alaska Peninsula, the Shumagan Islands and the Sanak Island area received little or no hunting pressure. The Aleutian Islands and Pribilof Islands also received little or no harvest. 138 Table 1. Harbor Seal pup harvest, 1965-1968. Year Port Heiden Port Moller 1965 4,000 (Includes Port Moller) 1966 3,100 2,300 1967 2,278 1,435 1968 2,180 1,091 All commercial harvesting of harbor seals ceased with the advent of the Marine Mammal Act of 1972. Harbor seals have not been studied extensively in the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands or Bristol Bay areas. Direct population enumeration has been done only in a few selected places. The secretive nature of the animals coupled with the broad expanses of habitat they are found in make direct population estimates difficult. In June, 1975 the National Marine Fisheries Service conducted a series of marine mammal surveys along the Alaska Peninsula and into Bristol Bay (Fiscus & Braham, 1976). Harbor seals were observed throughout the area, but definite conclusions on abundance and specific use of areas could not be determined, Table 2. Future surveys will be conducted to determine site specific use, traditional breeding grounds and their relationship to commercial development in the Bering Sea. The harbor seal population throughout the Aleutian Islands is thought to be at or near maximum levels (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1973). Because of inaccessibility and lack of observations, no population estimates are available. The Pribilof Islands of St. Paul and St. George have small populations of harbor seals. The largest known concentration of harbor seals in the 139 Pribilofs are found on Otter Island. Johnson (1976) estimated the peak 0 population to be 1,300 animals. 0 '40 140 Table 2. Observations of harbor seals June 1975. If Unalaska Island 757 Baby Islands (Five Islands) 178 Krenitzin Islands Akun Is., Poa Is. 20 Rootok Is. 68 Avatanak Is. 44 Rock North of Kalyaga Is. 75 Aiktak Is. 50 Alaska Peninsula (north) Cape Layard 75 Cape Lapin 125 p North Isonotski Is. 258 p Cape Krenitzen 110 p Kudiakof Is. 41 Izembeck Lagoon 75 Bar North of Kudiakof Is. 1,923 p Amak Is. 14 Cathedral Rock 29 p Cape Leiskof 96 p Nelson Lagoon 565 p Lagoon Point 716 p Port Moller 10,076 p Cape Seniavin 10 Seal Is. 1,137 Port Heiden 10,047 p Cinder River 2,867 p Ugashik Bay 196 p Egegik Bay 50 North Bristol Bay, Calin Pt. and vicinity 90 p Counts made from photographs l/ Source - Fiscus, C. H. and H. W. Braham, baseline characterization: Marine Mammals, Nat. Mar. Fish., Ann. Rpt., Res. Unit 67, 1976. 141 HARBOR SEALS - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. + 563 maps. 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 411 pp. 128 maps. I 1976. A compilation of fish and wild life resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Bigg, M. A. 1969. The harbor seal in British Columbia. Fish Res. Bd. Can. Bull. 172. 33 pp. Bishop, R. H. 1967. Reproduction, age determination; and behavior of the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina L., in the gulf of Alaska. MSc. Thesis. Univ. o-f -Alaska, College, Alaska. 120 pp. Fiscus, C. H. and H. W. Braham. 1976. Baseline characterization: marine mammals. Annual Rpt. Res. Unit 67. Nat. Mar. Fish. Ser. Draft Rpt. Imler, R. H. and H. R. Sarber. 1947. Harbor seals and sea lions in Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wild. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rept. 23. 22 pp. Klinkhart, E. G. 1969. The Harbor Seal in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 p. Murie, 0. J. and V. B. Scheffer. 19591 Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninusla. North Am. Fauna. No. 61. 406 pp. Spalding, D. J. 1964. Comparative feeding habits of the fur seal, sea lion and harbor seal on the British Columbia coast. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Bull. 146. 52 p. Vania, J. S. and E. G. Klinkhart. 1966. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. , and E. G. Klinkhart. 1967. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. , E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1968. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-2&3. , E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1969. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-3 and W-17-1. 142 FUR SEAL The Northern Fur Seal (Callorhinus ursinus) breeds in the summer and fall on the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. Other fur seal rookeries occur on the Commander Islands beyond the western end of the Aleutians and on Robben Island in the U.S.S.R. During the winter and spring, northern fur seals are widely dispersed over the southern Bering Sea, the North Pacific Ocean, and as far south as California. Johnson (1975) estimates the Pribilof Island population at 1,300,000 animals. In early May, adult male fur seals, many of which have remained in the southern Bering Sea all winter, begin to arrive at rookeries on St. Paul, St. George and Sea Lion Rocks in the Pribilof Islands. A month later, adult females which have wintered as far south as California begin to arrive and form harems within these territories. The harem within a male's territory may number up to 100 females, but averages about 45. Younger animals between the ages of two and six begin to arrive in June and haul out in large groups separate from the harem areas. Yearlings do not arrive until fall and many may remain at sea. Females bear a single pup in the harems in late June or July, and breed again within about a week after giving birth. They then alternately nurse the pup and feed offshore for two to three months. The pups are abandoned when the southward migration begins in October and November. By the end of December, the rookeries are empty. After the seals have left the rookeries in fall, they feed and migrate throughout the southern Bering Sea, passes in the Aleutian Islands, and the entire Pacific continental shelf of the United States and Canada. Water quality requirements for fur seals in these areas 143 are probably similar to those for sea lions and harbor seals. Fur seal rookeries, which in Alaska include only certain beaches in the Pribilof Islands, are essential to the maintenance of the species. Abundant supplies of food, primarily squid and smaller school fish such as herring, saury and lantern fish, must be available within a 150 mile radius of the rookeries for lactating females and younger animals. With well over a million seals in the area, the demand for food is tremendous. Some commercially important food species are consumed by fur seals throughout their range; the major foods of fur seals are not generally utilized as fresh seafood by the United States fishery, but are fished extensively by foreign fisheries. Some of these species are: squids, hake, anchovy, herring, sandlance, capelin, walleye pollock, Atka mackerel and deepsea smelt (Lander and Kajimmra, 1976). Almost immediately after their discovery in 1786, the Pribilof rookeries became a source of sealskins for the fur markets of the world. By the mid-1800's the herd had been almost annihilated. Then, in 1867, Alaska was purchased by the United States and legislation was passed to protect the fur seals of the Pribilof Islands. Early pelagic sealing had a devasting effect upon the fur seal herd. Almost a million skins were taken on the high seas from i879 to 1909, and many of the seals shot or speared in the open sea were not recovered. The effect on the Pribilof herd was disastrous, because females made up 60 to 80 percent of the pelagic catch. After extended diplomatic negotiations and a long series of ineffectual bilateral agreements, the United States, Great Britain (for Canada), Japan, and Russia concluded a Convention in 1911, for the protection of the fur seals of the North Pacific. Pelagic sealing was prohibited 144 except by aborigines with primitive weapons. Each country with fur seal rookeries agreed to share 30 percent of its annual take of sealskins - Canada and Japan each to receive 15 percent of the sealskins from the Pribilof Islands and the 15 percent of those from the Commander Islands; and Canada, Russia, and the United States each to receive 10 percent of the pelts from Robben Island. In 1957, a new interim North Pacific Fur Seal Convention was concluded by Canada, Japan, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States, similar in form to the 1911 Convention. The new convention, as amended by a protocal in 1963, has as its principal objective the achievement of maximum sustainable yield of fur seals in the North Pacific. It provides for a Fur Seal Commission comprised of representatives of the four Governments to coordinate research and management for the northern fur seal. It also provides that Canada and Japan each shall receive 15 percent of the sealskins taken commercially by the United States and the U.S.S.R. Seventy percent of the net proceeds from skins sold by the United States is paid to the State of Alaska. Fur seal habits are such that a program of wise utilization is readily devised; however, the success of the program depends on international cooperation because the seals live much of the time outside territorial waters. In Alaska, with few exceptions, fur seals come ashore only on the Pribilof Islands, and always on about the same date each year. Because seals are highly polygymous and the sexes are born in equal numbers, it is possible to take many males without adversely affecting the productivity of the herd. The young males, whose pelts are the most valuable, habitually haul out in areas apart from the breeding animals in the harems, so they are easily obtained. 145 The number of seals killed each year has varied for a number of reasons. From 1911 to 1917, seals were killed only by the residents of the Pribilof Islands for use as food. Commercial killing for skins was resumed in 1918. From 1918 to 1922, harvests of seals were high in realtion to population size because of the accumulation of males. The kill declined after the excess males were removed, but thereafter steadily increased until 1940. From 1940 to 1955 it averaged about 66,000 males annually. Since then, the kill of males has varied from a high of 96,000 in 1956 to a low of 28,000 in 1973, Table 3. Part of the difference between these extremes resulted from an extended season in 1956 which made available a larger proportion of the 3-year-old group, but recent fluctuations are caused primarily by variations in year class survival. Beginning in the mid-50's some female seals were taken to bring the herd to a level of maximum sustained yield, Table 3. After the animals are harvested, the skins are removed, washed, blubbered and cured in salt. They are then packed in barrels for shipment to a processing plant. The U.S. Government has a contract with an independent fur company for dressing, dyeing and selling the skins at public auction. Most of the processed skins are sold to buyers from West Germany and Italy. A recent economic study by the National Marine Fisheries Service indicates no increasing or decreasing trend in demand (Lander and Kajimura, 1976). The North Pacific Fur Seal Commission (1975) reported that in addition to fur, the fur seal has provided mixed feed for fish, poultry and fur-bearing animals, fertilizers, glycerin for munitions, oil for 146 tanning and oriental pharmeceuticals. Recent trends suggest that the 0 fur seal resource should also be considered in terms of their educational and aesthetic significance. 0 '0 147 IB v T panuiluo-D 069'+7C ST6T OLT,q LT6T 89'7 '9 9T6T LWC 916T sct'z @M - 90+7'Z CT6T - T6T'C ZT6T - 900'ZT TT6T - 989'CT OT6T - 8907T 606T - 966'17T 806T - 1796 '+IT L06T - 9L'7'f7T 906T - [email protected] 906T - 9ZT'CT @06T - Z6Z'6T C06T - 99CIZZ Z06T - ZL9'ZZ T06T - OL17'ZZ 006T - ZT8'9T 66ST - L170'ST 86ST - OOZ'6T L68T - '799'OC 96ST - 9178 ' '7T 96ST - CCO'gT 176ST - OWL C68T - 6WL Z68T - 90'7' +7T T68T 690'8Z 06?T - LT9'ZOT 6881 - i7OCCOT 89ST - 09L'90T LSST - TZ070T 98ST - i7ZO'90T 99ST - '7WSOT '78ST - 605'6L ENT ZT8'66 Z88T E90'90T TSST - SWOT 099T - TTVOTT 6LST - CZE'60T SLST - OTC"7S LLST - L99 '176 9L8T - 09V'90T SLST - 989'OTT @M - LTT'60T CLST - 6TS'SOT ZLRT - 096'ZOT TLBT SaTL-m9d a TL-14 [email protected] /-T -saoxiin-e quasaad 04 BTqt?TTVAV VIVP Ou SaIL-DTPUT (-) qs'eP V 'SL6T-TL8T sPuuTSI JOTTqTaa 9114 uO sTuas ang 90 TTT)l aTqul Table 3. (continued) Kill of fur seals on the Pribilof Islands 1871-1975. A dash (-) indicates no data available to present authors. l/ Year Male Females 1919 27,764 57 1920 26,568 80 1921 23,605 76 1922 31,063 93 1923 15,716 204 1924 17,053 166 1925 19,750 110 1926 22,035 96 1927 24,912 30 1928 31,039 60 1929 40,023 45 1930 42,449 51 1931 49,462 62 1932 49,232 104 1933 54,471 79 1934 53,408 60 1935 57,061 235 1936 52,227 219 1937 55,010 170 1938 58,165 199 1939 60,312 161 1940 64,940 323 1941 92,802 2,211 1942 150 0 1943 116,407 757 1944 47,533 119 1945 76,391 573 1946 64,028 495 1947 61,153 294 1948 69,893 249 1949 70,553 337 1950 59,925 279 1951 60,503 186 1952 63,670 200 1953 65,824 845 1954 63,224 658 1955 64,727 743 1956 96,057 27,632 1957 46,219 47,426 1958 47,866 31,100 1959 30,191 28,060 1960 36,327 4,312 1961 82,798 43,849 1962 53,680 43,760 1963 42,386 43,952 1964 48,980 16,452 1965 42,123 10,434 1966 52,472 481 continued 149 Table 3. (continued) Kill of fur seals on the Pribilof Islands 1871-1975. A dash indicates no data available to present authors. Year Male Females 1967 55,720 10,096 1968 45,625 13,335 1969 38,678 230 1970 42,121 120 1971 31,795 103 1972 37,314 79 1973 28,457 25 1974 32,976 51 1975 29,093 55 l/ From Lander and Kajimura, 1976. Status of northern fur seals. Sci. Conf. Mar. Mamm. Bergen, Norway. 5 0 FUR SEAL - SELECTED REFERENCES Anas, R. E. 1970. Accuracy in assigning ages to fur seals. J. Wildl. Manage. 34(4): 844-852. Baker, R. C., F. Wilke, and C. H. Baltzo 1970. The northern fur seal. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Cir. 336, 19 p. Bruemmer, F. 1974. Home of the seals: the stormy Pribilofs. Can Georgr. J. 88(4): 12-21. Chapman, G. 1961. Population dynamics of the Alaska fur seal herd. Trans. 26th N. Amer. Wildl. Conf., pp. 356-369. 1964. A critical study of Pribilof fur seal population estimates. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Fish. Bull. 63:657-669. 1973. Management of international whaling and North Pacific fur seals: implications for fisheries management. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 30(12) part 2: 2419-2426. Day, A. M. 1949. The old man of the Pribilofs. Sci. Monthly. Vol. LXVIII, No. 5. May 1949. Fiscus, H. and Kjimura 1965. Pelagic fur seal investigations, 1964. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 522, 47 pp. 1967. Pelagic fur seal investigations., 1965. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 537, 42 pp. Fishing News International 1968. The Pribilof Islands where resource management saved the fur seal industry. Fishing News Int. 7(7): 60-62. Harry, G. Y. Jr. 1971. Recent development in research and management of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Proc. 22nd Alaska Sci. Conf., Aug. 17 to 19 (abstract only). Ichihara, T., and K. Yoshida 1972. Diving depth of northern fur seals in the feeding time. Sci. Rep. Whales Res. Inst., No. 24, p. 145-148. Johnson, A. M. 1968. Annual mortality of territorial males fur seals and its management significance. J. Wildl. Manage. 32: 94-99. 1975. The status of northern fur seal population. Rapp. P. - V. Reun. CIEM, 169:263-6. Jordan, D. S. 1899. The fur seals and fur-seal islands of the North Pacific Ocean. Part III. Spec. Papers relating to the fur seal and to the Nat. Hist. of the Pribilof Islands. Govt. Print. Off. 629 PP. Kaplan, H. 1964. A narrative on the processing of fur seal. Fur Review., London, July pp. 24-26. Kenyon, K. W., V. B. Scheffer and D. G. Chapman. 1954. A population study of the Alaska fur seal herd. Spec. Sci. Rep. Wildl. USFWS, 12:77 pp. Lander, R. H. and H. Kajimura 1976. Status of northern fur seals. Ad. Comm. Marine Res. Research. Sci. Con. Marine Mamm. Bergen, Norway. 49 pp. Marine Mammal Biological Laboratory 1969. Fur seal investigations, 1966. U. S. Fish. Wildl. Serv., Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 584, 123 p. 1970. Fur seal investigations, 1967. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 597, 104 p. 1970. Fur seal investigations, 1968. U. S. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 617, 125 p. 1971. Fur seal investigations, 1969. U. S. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 628, 90 p. 1971. Fur seal investigations, 1970. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Seattle, 155 p. processed report. 1972. Fur seal investigations, 1971. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Seattle, 132 p. processed report. Marine Mammal Division 1973. Fur seal investigations, 1972. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Seattle, 93 p. processed report. 1974. Fur seal investigations, 1973. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Seattle, 96 p. processed report. 1975. Fur seal investigations, 1974. Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Seattle, 125 p. processed report. Mathews, R. K. 1970. Seal harems in the Pribilofs. Nat. Hist. Mag. p. 31-41. North Pacific Fur Seal Commission 1963. Glossary of terms used in fur seal research and management. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Fish. Leafl. 546, 9pp. 1965. North Pacific Fur Seal Commission report on investigations from 1958 to 1961. Kenkyusha Print. Co., Tokyo, 183 pp. 1969. North Pacific Fur Seal Commission report on investigations from 1964 to 1966. Kenkyusha Print. Co., Tokyo, 161 pp. 1971. North Pacific Fur Seal Commission report on investigations in 1962-63. Kenkyusha Printing Co., Tokyo, Japan, 96 p. 152 1975. North Pacific Fur Seal Commission report on investigations from 1967 through 1972. Dependable Printing Co., Inc., Hyattsville, MD, 212 p. Parker, W. B. 1974. North Pacific Fur Seal Convention. In Alaska and the Law of the Sea--International Fisheries Regimes of the North Pacific. Alaska Sea Grant Report, No. 73-13. Riley, 1967. Fur seal industry of the Pribilof Islands, 1786-1965. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Fish. Circ. 275, vi + 12 pp. Roppel, A. Y., and S. P. Davey 1965. Evolution of fur seal management on the Pribilof Islands. J. Wildl. Manage. 29: 448-463. A. M. Johnson, R. E. Anas, and D. G. Chapman 1965. Fur seal investigations, Pribilof Islands, Alaska, 1964. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 536, 45 pp. A. M. Johnson, R. D. Bauer, D. G. Chapman, and F. Wilke 1963. Fur seal investigations, Pribilof Islands, Alaska, 1962. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 454, 101 pp. A. M. Johnson, and D. G. Chapman 1965. Fur seal investigations, Pribilof Islands, Alaska, 1963. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Spec. Rep. Fish. 497, 60 pp. Scheffer, V. B., 1958. Seals, sea lions and walruses - A review of the Pinnipedia Stanford, Calif., Stanford Univ. Press., 179 p. 1970. New life burgeons at an Alaskan fur-seal rookery. Smith- sonian, 1(7): 50-57. 1970. Year of the seal. Scribner, New York, 205 p. Spalding, D. J. 1964. Comparative feeding habits of the fur seal, sea lion, and harbor seal on the British Columbia coast. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Bull. 146: 52 pp. Taylor, F. H. C., M. Fujinaga and F. Wilke 1955. Distribution and food habits of the fur seals of the North Pacific Ocean, Report of Cooperative Investigations by Governments of Canada, Japan, and United States of America, February-July 1952, Washington D. C., U. S. Govt. Printing Office, 86 pp. 153 SEA OTTER In 1742, the men from Vitus Bering's expedition returned to the Kamchatka Peninsula from their historic voyage of discovery of Alaska. They brought with them sea otter furs that initiated an era of exploitation which almost led to the extinction of the sea otter. The early Russian settlement of Alaska was, in fact, largely a result of the sea otter industry. In 1867, when the numbers of sea otter had diminished, Alaska was sold to the United States and the few conservation measures that had been instituted by the Russians in their final years of occupation were dropped by the Americans. Hunting intensified and sea otter became alarmingly scarce. Between 1867 and 1911, over 107,000 were harvested in Alaskan waters (Lensink, 1962). Finally, in 1911 when so few animals were left (in many areas they were completely exterminated) that it was no longer profitable to hunt them, they were given complete protection under the Fur Seal Treaty. From the signing of the Fur Seal Treaty in 1911 until the State of Alaska assumed management authority for sea otters in 1960, Alaska natives were allowed to hunt sea otters using aboriginal means, but no other hunting was allowed. After 1960, Alaska State laws prohibited all hunting by all individuals regardless of race. The sea otters experimentally harvested between 1962 and 1972 by the State of Alaska were taken under the authority of a scientific collecting permit. In 1962 and 1963 a total of 491 sea otters were harvested at Amchitka by the State in an attempt to determine the feasibility of harvests and to collect information on reproduction, sex and age composition, and distribution of sexes. None were harvested between 1964 and 1966 while 154 efforts were directed at developing a transplant program. In 1967 sea otter studies were accelerated and the harvest program resumed. Harvests were conducted only on islands that supported populations that were at or near the carrying capacity of the habitat and were no longer contributing to the repopulation of other areas. All harvesting was done by state employees under the supervision of biologists. The harvest program was suspended after 1970 because of lack of funds. The removal of animals from a population for transplants to other areas or for scientific and display purposes has the same effect on that population as a harvest. A summary of all otters removed from various Alaskan populations since the State of Alaska assumed management authority is presented in Table 4. Some of the animals removed were transplanted to other parts of Alaska and therefore did not cause a reduction in the overall otter population. Others were transplanted to areas outside of Alaska. Even after the harvest program had ceased, an effort was made to continue to annually remove approximately 300 sea otters from the Amchitka Island population through transplant captures and scientific collections, in order to study the effects of a sustained removal of that magnitude. This program was temporarily interrupted in November, 1971 when a nuclear test killed an estimated 1,000 to 1,350 sea otters. Between 1967 and November,-1971, a total of 1,436 sea otters were removed from Amchitka, an average of 287 per year. over 1,200 of these were taken from the southeastern half of the island. The only apparent effect on the population was a S14 ght reduction in an area where transplant captures were concentrated and an increase in the number of subadult animals in that area. All evidence suggests that harvesting increased productivity and that the population could sustain a harvest of 155 Table 4. Numbers of sea otters transplanted 1955-1970. Release Site- 1955 1956 1959 1965 1966 1968 1969 1970 Aleutians Attu Is. 5 Pribilofs Otter Is. 19, St. Paul Is. 7 St. George Is. 57 Southeast Yakutat Bay 10 Alaska Khaz Bay 23 20 93 58 (Chichigof Is.) Yakobi Is. 30 Biorka Is. 48 Barrier Is. 55 Heceta Is. 51 Cape Spencer 25 British Columbia Vancouver Is. 29 14 Washington 29Z/ 30 Oregon 29 Total 19 5 7 23 30 359 116 73 1) None believed to have survived. 2) At least 13 died shortly after release. 1955 to 1959 by USFWS (31 sea otters), 1965 to 1972 706 sea otters) by A.D.F.&G. In some of the above animals died near the time of release. two to three times that level if the hunting pressure was evenly distributed around the island. There are currently no established uses of sea otters. Traditional use by Alaska natives ceased during the period of comerical hunting and subsequent closures. While the federal closure from 1911 to 1960 allowed for such use, there was no conflict when the state laws prohibiting any use went into effect in 1960. Most population estimates of sea otters have been based on aerial surveys made from fixed-wing aircraft. Kenyon (1969) made estimates based on the assumption that he saw 50 to 75 percent of the sea otters from the air. He used these estimates to provide a comparative picture of the status of sea otter populations throughout Alaska but recognized that the actual numbers might be low. Lensink (1960) made an estimate of the population of Amchitka Island, based on counts from shore, that 0 were three to four times Kenyon's estimate based on aerial surveys. A recent series of comparative surveys and information gathered during harvests demonstrate that estimates based on aerial surveys are extremely low (Estes, 1973). The variability in factors influencing this type of count is so great that the results are not reliable for population estimates or for determining short-term fluctuation in dense populations. However, aerial counts are useful to determine general distribution and abundance and to follow large changes in population size. These factors should be considered when interpreting the following population estimates. South side of the Alaska Peninsula (Cape Igvak to Unimak Pass) Surveys along the south side of the Alaska Peninsula have been 0 fragmentary and most those made were done under less than ideal 157 conditions. Weather tends to be poor along the south shore where squalls form along the mountains. Areas where an aircraft can refuel are north of the mountains and there are relatively few passes, therefore range of the aircraft is a problem. Also there is much shallow water offshore in the area from Shumagin Islands to Sanak Island. Coverage of this area is difficult and many animals are undoubtably missed. Despite these problems and a lack of continuity, a fairly good picture has emerged on the recovery of sea otter populations in this area. Reports from various individuals are available from the 1930's and 1940's. Major surveys by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1951 (Jones), 1957 (Lensink), 1962 and 1965 (Kenyon and Spencer) covered at least portions of the area. In 1969, the southern Shumagin Islands were counted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Another survey by the A.D.F.&G. in 1970 covered most of the rest of the area. There are three distinct population nuclei in the area. These are centered around Sutwik Island, the Shumigan Islands and the Sanak- Sandman Reefs. Sutwik Island. Reports of sea otters near Sutwick Island are available since 1936. This population was far removed from other populations and is probably a remnant left after hunting ceased. In 1951, Jones counted 388 between Cape Kumliun and Cape Kunmik. Most were near Sutwick Island. In 1957, 889 were counted. Nineteen of these were between Cape Kunmik and Cape Providence indicating some northeastward expansion. In 1962, 949 were seen with individuals straying as far as Cape Igvak and one between there and Cape Kuliak. In the 1970 survey, 1,766 were counted betwen Castle Cape and Cape Kunmik, with the majority being seen in Kujulik 153 Bay. The total count for the Sanak Island area during the 1970 survey was 1,912. There is still room for expansion in both directions from this population. The greater movement to the northeast is probably the result of better habitat. The population around Kujulik Bay is very dense and a large movement of animals may occur if competition for food becomes serious. Otherwise, we should expect to see continued steady expansion into adjacent areas for a number of years (Schneider, 1970). The present sea otter population for the Sanak area is estimated to be from 8,000 to 10,000 animals (K. Schneider, A.D.F.&G. pers. comm.). Shumigan Islands Recent surveys have not been adequate enough to show if otter numbers have increased in the last decade. However, major changes in distribution have occurred which are very similar to the pattern mentioned in the Sanak-Sandman, population. There were occasional reports of sea otters in the Shumagins in the 1930's. In 1947 Scheffer estimated that 500 lived around Simeonof Island. In 1953, Hooper counted 633 around Simeonof and Little Koniuji Island. A 1957 survey showed 1,829. Most of these were in the southern islands. Five individuals were scattered in the northern islands and one was on the mainland shore near Elephant Point. A 1962 survey totaled only 1,352. The animals were scattered from 149 to 338 indicating a continued northward expansion. In 1969, 1,510 were counted in the southern islands under relatively poor conditions. An additional 286 were counted in the northern islands in 1970, and 23 were seen along the mainland north of the Shumigans. There is a very clear expansion of the population from a center 159 near Simeonof. Substantial numbers now occur on all the islands and repopulation of the mainland is occurring. The population in the northern islands should continue to increase. In general, it appears that the southern islands and reefs have become fully populated and the northern areas are just developing significant populations. The entire area may be completely repopulated in the next 10 years. The present estimated population is from 8,000 to 10,000 sea otters. Sanak Island - Sandman Reefs Small numbers of sea otters have been reported at Sanak Island since 1922. No reports came from the Sandman Reefs until 1942. In 1948, 27 were sighted at Cherni Island. An aerial survey in 1951 showed 65 around Sanak and 97 in the Sandman Reefs. In 1957, 251 were seen around Sanak and 508 around the Sandman Reefs. In addition, two were se'en in the Pavlof Islands, however few were on the mainland. In 1962, 548 were counted in the Sanak area and 638 in the Sandman Reefs. None were reported from the mainland or Pavlof Islands. Much of the increase was in the northern area around Deer Island. In the 1970 survey, which was made under relatively poor conditions, 239 were seen in the Sanak area and 568 plus in the Sandman Reefs. A remnant population probably remained along the south side of Sanak Island in the early 1900's. By the late 1940's they began spreading into the Sandman Reefs. This northward expansion has continued to the present time. There is still unoccupied or sparsely populated habitat along the mainland shore and in the Pavlof Islands. There should be continued expansion of this population for a number of years although the numbers around Sanak Island and the western Sandman Reefs may have already reached a peak. The present total population is estimated to be 160 from 8,000 to 10,000 otters. With the arrival of substantial numbers in the Pavlof Islands, this population is probably on the verge of mixing with the Shumagin Island population. No doubt some individuals have moved back and forth in the past, but the two populations are almost continuous at the present time. As in past surveys, few otters were seen around the north side of Sanak Island and Caton Island. This is probably poor habitat for otters. The main population is around the south and west sides (Schneider, 1970). Fox and Krenitzin Islands (Unimak Pass to Samalga Pas The islands from Unimak Pass to Samalga Pass contain large areas of good sea otter habitat. At present, several small concentrations exist in this group of islands and increasing numbers of scattered individuals are being seen, nevertheless much 'of the habitat is not occupied. Large populations to the east are expanding and it is likely that significant repopulation of the Fox Islands will begin as these populations outgrow their present habitat. In August of 1975, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game counted 316 sea otters in the Fox and Krenitzin Islands. This was a considerable increase over the 41 observed by Kenyon in 1965. It is clear that there has been a substantial increase in numbers. Concentrations of otters in the vacinity of Tigalda Island, Umnak Pass, Vsevidof Island and Samalga Island appear to be large enough to be considered premanently established. If they follow the pattern of other similar groups, they sould increase rapidly over the next few years (Schneider, 1975). 0 161 Islands of Four Mountains (Samalga Pass to Amukta Pass) The Islands of Four Mountains consist of a number of small, steep- sided islands. There is a limited amount of habitat suitable for sea otters. In 1969, several otters were reportedly sighted there but subsequent surveys by air and boat have failed to locate any. As the populations in the eastern Andreanof Islands reach a peak, repopulation of the Islands of Four Mountains will probably occur and a small population may build up there. The scarcity of good habitat will probably limit the population to a few thousand animals. Andreanof Islands (Amukta Pass to Tanaga I land) The Andreanof Islands contain large areas of excellent sea otter habitat. Early exploitation reduced the population almost to the point of extinction in this island group. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game surveys have provided an excellent record of the repopulation of this island group, and much of our knowledge of how sea otter populations expand is from this area. A population will usually build up to a very high density exceeding the carrying capacity in one area before animals will move into adjacent areas of vacant habitat, then a large number will move in a short period of time to the next island. The Andreanof Islands are being repopulated in this stepwise manner. Tanaga probably was populated by excess animals from the Delarof Islands in the 1930's. When Tanaga's population peaked, large numbers moved to Kanaga. Kanaga's population peaked, then animals moved to Adak. In this way, each island from west to east has had a rapid increase, then a decline as animals move to the next island. At present, this spearhead of expansion has reached the west end of Atka Island. Smaller numbers have been found on the south side of Atka and Amlia Islands and around Seguam Island. At present, the western Andreanofs, including Tanaga, Kanaga, Adak, and Kagalaska, have populations that probably equal or exceed the pre- 1742 expansion to new areas. The islands between Kagalaska and Atka also have very high populations which are contributing to the repopulation of Atka. At the present rate of expansion, the island group should be completely repopulated within 10 to 15 years. The present population is over 35,000 and is increasing (K. Schneider, pers. comm.). Delarof and Rat Islands (Tanaga Island to Buldir Island) The Rat and Delarof Islands contain much excellent sea otter habitat. Russian exploitation reduced the population of these islands to a very low level, but small populations survived in both island groups. The first substantial recovery of the sea otter from early exploitation was noted in 1935. By 1947, the Amchitka population reached a peak and exceeded the carrying capacity of its habitat. Subsequently, the population declined, probably as a result of overutilization of food species. A similar situation has occurred at most of the other islands in both groups. The present total population of the Rat and Delarof Islands combined is estimated at between 23,000 and 32,000 sea otters (K. Schneider, pers. comm.). Extensive studies by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game indicate that these islands are unlikely to support larger populations on a sustained basis. 163 Aerial and ground sruveys conducted by Estes (1973) on Amchitka Island has provided the most recent population counts from this island group. Based on fixed-wing, helicopter and shore counts, he estimated the Amchitka population to be about 7,000 animals. It is unlikely that the pre-1742 population was significantly larger than the present population. Near Islands (Buldir Island to Attu Island) Sea otters were completely exterminated from the Near Islands. In 1956 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relocated five otters from Amchitka to Attu, but it is not known if any of these survived. The first survey to reveal positively that otters were re-established was made in 1965 when 27 were seen at Attu (Kenyon, 1969). The present population is in excess of 350 (J. Estes, USFWS, pers. coum.). This number should increase and eventually the population may reach densities similiar to that presently found in the Rat Islands. North Side of Alaska Peninsula (Unimak Pass to Port Heiden) Vast areas of shallow water exist north of Unimak Island and into Bristol Bay. A large, unique population of sea otter lives in this area. Based on 1976 surveys, Schneider (pers. coTrm.) estimates 17,000 sea otter between Otter Point and Cape Lieskof. The animals apparently seldom come ashore and have been seen as much as 26 miles offshore. Pods of up to 1,000 sea otters are seen from three to ten miles offshore, particularly in the Amak Island area. The eastern limit of distribution of the population fluctuates depending on the severity of sea ice conditions. On the average, sea otters are abundant as far east as Port Moller and smaller numbers are found to Port Heiden. Scattered individuals may 164 occur beyond that point. Because the population may be scattered over thousands of square miles, its size is difficult to estimate, but it probably is in the neighborhood of 15,000 to 20,000 and has a potential to increase during periods of mild winters (K. Schneider, pers. comm.). Pribilof Islands The Pribilof Islands are near the edge of the sea ice in winter and probably are at the northern limits of potential sea otter range in the Bering Sea. Old records indicate that a population of at least 5,000- 7,000 sea otters may have existed there when the islands were discovered by the Russians. Early exploitation completely exterminated this population and natural repopulation has not occurred. In 1959, seven otters were transplanted there but none have been seen since 1961. In 1968, 57 otters were released at St. George Island by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. There is some evidence that a few individuals have reached St. Paul Island from the Alaska Peninsula, perhaps by traveling with the retreating ice pack. Reports indicate that at least small numbers still survive there. If this population persists, it should eventually increase to pre-exploitation levels. rable 5 Sightings of Sea Otters Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976 @ocation 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 kLASKA PENN. ,ape Kuliak 'ape IgVak 7 c, 0 1 'ape Igvak 'ape Kumlik 19 22 139 Uiiakchak Bay @ Amber Bay 8 6 47 197 iutwik Area 355 581 109 14 ? julik Bay ,u i Cape Kumlik 12 103 684 1,253 ,ape Kumliun 101 Inivikshak Is. 13 180 86 62 lakchamik Is. 5 :hignik Bay 118 :astle Bay & @ape Kupreanof 16 'enn. to Paulof @ay 23 laulof Bay to Inimak Bay 141 continued Cable 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters - Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. .location 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976 )HUV,IGAN IS. inga Is. 2 4 184 lopof Is. 2 52 ,orovin Is. 46 ,arpa Is. 4 tndronica & )he Haystacks 1 75 la.c,ai Is. 149 338 232 ;pectacle Is. 8 iendel Is. 268 105 27 'urner Is. 6 'wins 7 [ear Is. 3 14 150 'enninsula Is. 3 15 @ig Koniuji Is. 220 222 296 ittle Koniuji Atkins 430 225 290 imeonof Is. 455 294 329 continued ble 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters -- Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. cation 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976 rd Is. 160 38 76 ernabura 132 79 6 NIAK-SANDMAN snesenski Is. 2 4 o1noi Is. 2 perechnoi Is. 29 lgoi Is. 67 loi Is. 2 ter Iliasik Is. 16 ner Iliasik Is. 2 erni Is. 271 259 495 ubbing Rocks 33 2 12 ose Is. 97 76 82 7 er Is. & ter Reefs 123 295 54 nak Is. 65 251 548 239 continued rable 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters - Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. Location 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 * 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 197( 3cotch Cap to 3ape Sarichef 75 3ape Sarichef to Cape Mordvinof 10 1 ,ape Mordvinof to Otter Point 58 152 1 19 )tter Point to Estimatt 4offet Point 786 811 2,765 330 2,157 20 273 500 79 198 2,585 17,1T -1offet Point to 3ape Lieskof 20 38 24 1 2 24 ,ape Lieskof to 74 60 18 1 ,ape"Kutuzof 39 ,ape Kutuzof to @eindeer Creek 5 40 3 @eindeer Creek :o Cape Greig 4 .ape Greig to .ape Chichagof 4 ,'OX-KRENITZIN --SLA,NDS Jgamak 5 continued Cable 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters - Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. ,ocation 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976. 'igalda 5 11 3 32 49 59 5 Lvatanak 2 4 'ootok 2 1 @kun 3 3 Lkutan I Inalga & @aby Is. 2 Inalaska except W. end) 1 2 4 Imnak Pass 6 74 60 esvidof Is. 9 52 anialga - W. nd Umnak 6 10 9 27 side Umnak 3 NDREANOF ISLANDS anaga 902 898 1,059 3,049 obrof 57 32 anaga 1,822 846 1,054 2,619 153 continued Table 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters - Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. Location 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976_ Adak 1,718 2,260 1,336 343 Great Sitkin 325 710 Aziak 4 Tanaklak 4 Asuksak 7 Kanu 35 ragadak 21 Igitkin 190 Jlak 15 'hugul 119 Jmak 94 392 164 .ittle Tanaga 214 509 203 (agalaska 1 251 298 Cagalak 68 @enimore Pass 42 [kiginak 33 )glodak 9 continuecT Table 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters - Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. Location 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1-972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976. Atka Pass 7 Atka 33 50 228 464 Amlia 83 91 159 140 Seguam 14 23 28 97 DELAROF ISLANDS Gareloi 41 83 5 Unalga 51 16 9 Kavalga 275 155 118 Sea Otter Pass 36 Ogliuga & Skagul 112 144 105 Ulak 352 107 55 Amatignak 102 70 68 Ilak 183 32 6- RAT ISLANDS Buldir 15 Kiska 1,127 1,229 continued Lble 5 (continued) Sightings of Sea Otters -- Alaska Penninsula, Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. March Oct. March May June Aug. ocation 1951 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1965 1968 1969 1970 1971 1971 1972 1972 1973 1975 1975 1976 @gula 47 56 ,ramid, Davidof, Ivostov 33 39 -ttle Sitkin 50 135 it 270 326 ichitka 1,560 1,144 2,302 3,927 3,241 4,042 misopochnoi 393 203 AR ISLANDS ;attu 4 20 :tu 13 350 temya 10 SEA OTTER - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. + 563 maps. 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 411 pp. 128 maps. 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of A-laska. 'Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Estes, J. A. and N. S. Smith. 1973. Research on the sea otter, Amchitka Island, Alaska. Final Rept. USAEC. NVO-520-1. 85 pp. Fiscus, C. H. and H. W. Braham. 1976. Baseline characterization: marine mammals. Annual Rpt. Res. Unit 67. Nat. Mar. Fish. Ser. Draft Rpt. Kenyon K. W. and D. L. Spencer. 1960. Sea otter population and transplant studies in Alaska, 1959. USFWS, Spec. Sci. Rept. Wildl. No. 48;1-29 pp. 1965. Aerial survey of sea otters and other marine mammals, Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands; 19 April to 9 May, 1965. Bur. Sport Fish and Wild. Unpublished report. Sand Point Naval Air Sta., Seattle. 24 pp. + 24 maps. 1965. Sea otter studies, population and distribution. Unpub. report, Branch of Wildlife Research, Fish and Wildlife Service Bldg. 192, Sand Point Naval Air Sta., Seattle. 47 pp. 1969. The sea otter in the eastern Pacific Ocean. N. Amer. Fauna No. 68: U.S. Government printing office, Washington, D.C. 352 pp. Lensink, C. J. 1960. Status and distribution of sea otters in Alaska. Jour. Mamm. 41; 172-182. 1962. The history and status of sea otters in Alaska. Ph.d. Thesis. Purdue Univ., Lafayette, Ind. 188 pp. Murie, 0. J. and V. B. Scheffer. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. North Am. Fauna. No. 61.' 406 pp. Schneider, K. B. 1969. Aerial count of sea otters, Aleutian Islands, Alaska Peninsula and Shumagin Islands, Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. 1970. Aerial count of sea otters, south side of the Alaska Peninsula. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. 174 * 1971. An evaluation of sea otter survey techniques. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. Anchorage, Alaska. 18 pp. * 1972. Sea otter report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. report. Proj. W-17-4. 15 pp. * 1973. Sea otter report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. report. Proj. W-17-5. 15 pp. * 1974. Sea otter report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. report. Proj. W-17-5. 18 pp. and J. B. Faro. 1975. Effects of sea ice on sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Jour. Mamm. 56: 91-101. * 1975. Survey of transplanted sea otter populations in southeast Alaska, April 30 - May 16, 1975. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. Sekora, P. 1973. Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge Study Report. U.S.F.W.S., Draft Rpt. 409 pp. Vania, J. S. 1968. The Sea Otter in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Wild. Notebook Series. 2 p. , and E. G. Klinkhart. 1966. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. , and E. G. Klinkhart. 1967. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid.. Wild. Rest. Trp. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. and E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1968. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-20. E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1969. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-3 and W-17- 1. 175 SEA LION The Northern, or Steller's sea lion (E etopias jubatus) are members of the family Otariidae which includes sea lions and fur seals. They differ from the common seals Phocidae in that they have hind flippers that can be turned forward and used in a more four-footed method of movement on land, have external ears, and are found almost exclusively in a marine environment. They are the only sea lion found in the Gulf of Alaska, throughout the Aleutian Islands and in Bristol Bay. Sea lion pups are most commonly born during late May and June, with the majority of pupping occurring during the first two weeks in June. Usually only one pup is produced, but twinning occurs rarely. The average weight at birth is 44 pounds. Females eventually weigh 600 to 800 pounds, and males may grow as large as 2,400 pounds. Breeding activity begins in late May when mature bulls begin defending territories on the coastal rookeries. Females may move about the territories, but all intruding males are challenged. On large rookeries, males generally have 14-17 females within their defended areas. Most females breed within a week or ten days after giving birth, with the peak of breeding activity occurring in Mid-June. Not all sea lions go to rookery areas during the breeding season. Large numbers of bulls occupy male hauling grounds, generally located adjacent to rookeries. Also, males and females without pups may gather on hauling grounds where males also defend territories and engage in breeding activities. Territorial behavior by males begins to decrease around the first of July and by mid-July most breeding activity has ended. 176 Pups are capable of swimming within hours after birth, but most do not venture into the water until they are at least a month old. By late July, rookery populations begin to decline as some territorial bulls and females without pups leave the area. Hauling grounds that contained few or no sea lions during the summer gradually begin to attract more animals, but the number using each hauling ground varies from day to day and month to month. As many as 25% of adult females fail to produce a pup each year. In addition, more than half the new pups die in their first year. Drowning, abandonment, malnutrition and predation are the major causes of death. Killer whales, sharks and men prey on adults as well as pups. Sea lions are generally shy animals and rush to the water when approached by man, except during the June breeding season. During that month, sea lions on rookeries show great reluctance to leave the land. Although most females will finally flee when a man approaches too closely, some become very protective of their pups and refuse to leave their sides. Similarly, many males continue to defend their territories against all intruders, including men. During winter, some sea lions move into the more protected waters of bays and inland passages. They use hauling grounds that may have been unoccupied in summer and often follow predictable feeding patterns, such as moving into herring spawning areas in spring. Although sea lions live in the marine environment, they occasionally ascend freshwater rivers for short periods of time. They seem to thrive best in remote island areas with extensive shallow water and rocky bottoms highly productive with fish life. Offshore rocks exposed through all stages of the tide are important 177 as resting areas. Sea lions are excellent swimmers and range widely in search of food. They are uncommon in glacial areas where the water is turbid, as they prefer relatively clear waters. Sea lions eat a wide variety of foods including rockfish, sculpin, cod, greenling, sand lance, smelt, salmon, halibut, flounder, octopus, squid, shrimp and crab. Sea lions have long been considered an enemy of fishermen because of their dietary preference for fishes. But few quantitative data are available concerning the extent of predation on commercially exploited fishes. Populations of sea lions have been exploited by man throughout history. The earliest harvest records of sea lions comes from middens near native village sites and show that sea lions were used extensively. Commercial interest in sea lions brought about harvests of pups for their pelts. Over 45,000 sea lions pups were recorded harvested from Alaskan rookeries from 1959 through 1972 (Calkins et al. 1975), Table 6. The average price paid to the hunter for sea lion pup skins was about $8.00. All harvesting of sea lions ceased with the advent of the Marine Mammals act of 1972. Surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists and information from other marine mammal biologists indicate that there are over 100 different rookeries and hauling areas in the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Island and Bristol Bay areas. Sea lion rookeries and haul out areas are found on a variety of different substrates ranging from sand to beaches with boulders up to 10 yards in diameter, to bedrock. These areas are often found on exposed points or isolated small islands. Sea lions usually inhabit offshore rocks and islands that are 173 Table 6. Sea lion harvests in Alaska. Ref. Island No. 1959 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 Marmot Is. 320 137 1,024 1,650 2,675 2,150 2,516 2,365 1,800 Sugarloaf Is. 325 4,000 1,500 2,005 1,400 2,180 1,958 2,692 1,008 Akutan Is. 148 1,659 857 80 2,159 2,250 1,627 Atkins Is. 215 259 379 Round Is. 166 574 Ugumak Is. 165 179 525 1,064 2,184 Jude Is. 206 39 72 556 co Chowiet Is. 241 10 Total 630 4,000 1,500 5,593 3,907 4,855 4,198 5,208 6,057 3,314 6,546 seldom visited by man, but human activities may cause animals to leave 40 rookery areas. Vania, (1971), found that when the harvesting of pups began, a gradual decline occurred in the number of adults that utilized a rookery. When harvesting was closed, adult numbers again increased. Since rookery and haul out areas are vital to the well-being of sea lions, careful planning must be made before these areas are disturbed by man. Although breeding females and mature territorial bulls are strongly tied to rookeries, Sandegren(1970) observed considerable movement to and from a rookery. Some territorial bulls went to sea occasionally while others remained on the rookery for over 60 continuous days. Females tended to make periodic trips to sea, probably for feeding purposes, but cows about to give birth, who have just given birth, or are estrous were reluctant to leave the rookery. Peak numbers of animals are usually ashore about midday (Mathisen and Lopp 1963 and Sandegren 1970). Stormy weather, high surf, high tides, disturbance and high solar radiation all appear to cause animals to return to the water. Numbers of animals found hauled out are usually greatest during summer (Mathisen and Lopp 1963). Population estimates based on rookery and hauling ground counts must be considered minimal as some animals will almost certainly be in the water at any given time. Because of their dependence on land, particularly during the breeding season, population enumeration on rookeries and hauling grounds through aerial and ground surveys are possible. Such surveys, though subject to error, provide at least a minimum estimate of the number of sea lions which may use a particular rookery or hauling ground. 180 Repetitive surveys of selective rookeries indicate that in most areas of Alaska sea lion populations are at or near the maximum levels attainable within the ecological limits of the habitat. Greater expansion of the population in the future is not anticipated. Little change has occurred in the population status of sea lions from that reported in Alaska's Wildlife and Habitat. However, several additional rookeries and hauling grounds have been found and recent surveys have revealed seasonal changes in population numbers. Table 7 lists these areas. 181 0 Table 7 Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. June [email protected], June 2 @4/ 6/ Quadrangle No. Location 1959-1/ 1965V 1969-11 197 19 7 62! [email protected] Attu 1 Attu Is. (Cape Wrangell) 5,000 6,900 2 Attu Is. (Chirikof Pt.) 10 4,000 1,500 8 Attu Is. (Chichagof Harbor) 900 3 Agattu Is. (Gillian Pt.) 3,000 750 4 Agattu Is. (Otkriti Bay) 100 1,300 5 Agattu Is. (Cape Sabak) 3,300 8,635 6 Alaid Is. (West End) 1,500 2,500 2,500 7 Shemya (Rocks off N. Shore) 2,500 2,000 650 Kiska 17 Buldir Is. (South Shore) 2,500 3,500 4,350 PQ 18 Kiska Is. (Cape St. Stephan) 1,000 19 Kiska Is. (Vega Pt.) 400 21 Kiska Is. (Sirius Pt.) 1,485 65 20 Tanadak 50 Rat Islands 22 Segula (Gula Pt.) 133 23 Segula (Chugul Pt) 115 24 Little Sitkin (Patterson Pt.) 335 25 Rat Is. (Eastern Pt.) 750 650 305 26 Amchitka Is. (Bird Rk.) 50 continued Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. 2/ 3 June 41 Marl June 6/ Quadrangle No. Location 1959-1/ 1965_ 196 1975- 19761/ 1976=- 27 Amchitka Is. (Islet off Chitka Pt.) 50 28 Amchitka Is. (Ivakin Pt.) 300 710 750 29 Amchitka Is. (East Cape) 200 30 Amchitka Is. (St. Makarius Islet) 50 31 Amchitka Is. (S.W. Islets and Rks.) 600 32 Semisopochnoi Is. (Rks. off S.W. shore) 500 0 33 Semisopochnoi Is. (Pochnoi Pt.) 2,000 1,100 1,120 Gareloi Is. 43 Amatignak Is. (Nitrof Pt.) 200 0 1 44 Amatignak Is. (Knob Pt.) 50 0 0 45 Ulak (S. Pt.) 1,500 300 1,195 CO 46 Unalga (Dinkum Rks.) 350 520 0 47 Gareloi (S. shore) 2,500 100 0 48 Skagul (Rks. off S. Pt.) 500 2 49 Tag Is. 400 100 1,412 50 Ugidak Is. 400 0 51 Gramp, Rk. 700 75 52 Tanaga Is. 100 130 356 Adak 62 Tanaga Is. (Cape Sasmik) 75 63 Adak Is. (Argonne Pt.) 1,000 0 64 Adak Is. (Hook Pt.) 1,500 20 continued 0 Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. June Marc June 2 @4/ 61 Quadrangle No. Location 1959-11 [email protected]/ 1960-/ 197 19*51 -1976-n 65 Adak Is. (Cape Yakak) 800 610 70 Adak Is. (Cape Moffett) 50 6 67 Little Tanaga (Tana Pt.) 450 281 68 Great Sitkin Is. (Swallow Head) 650 440 69 Kanaga Is. (Cape Miga) 260 Atka 78 Anagaksik Is. 700 475 145 79 Igitkin Is. (S.W. Pt.) 700 00 80 Kasatochi Is. (North Pt.) 200 1,200 4b. 81 Ikiginak Is. 500 0 82 Atka (North Cape) 550 83 Atka (Cape Korovin) 100 4,900 84 Salt Is. 100 85 Sagchudak Is. 1,200 360 86 Amtagis Is. 800 87 Koniuji Is. (N. Pt.) 15 Seguam 96 Amlia Is. (Cape Misty) 750 continued 0 0 0 Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. June Marc June 2/ ;4/ 6/ Quadrangle 6-IL No. Location 1959-11 1965 1969-31 1V 197ft 197 97 Amlia Is. (Rks. in Sviechnikof Hbr.) 800 3,700 101 Amlia Is. (Agligadak Pt.) 700 98 Agligadak Is. 250 120 99 Sagigik Is. 100 100 Tanadak Is. 20 260 102 Seguam. Is. (S.W. Pt.) 150 125 103 Seguam Is. (Lava Pt.) 150 640 104 Seguam Is. (Saddle Ridge Pt.) 25 4,400 35 105 Seguam Is. (Wharf Pt.) 100 233 00 106 Seguam Is. (Moundhill Pt.) 169 01 Amukta 115 Amukta Is. (High Rk.) 600 116 Amukta Is. (Amukta Pt.) 150 117 Chagulak Is. (Chagulak Pt.) 100 120 118 Yunaska Is. (East shore) 800 350 895 119 Carlisle Is. (N.W.Pt.) 100 250 175 Samalga Is. 124 Chuginadak (Concord Pt.) 700 341 125 Adugak Is. 1,000 400 126 Ogchul Is. 2,000 continued Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. 2 3 June 4/ Marc June Quadrangle No. Location 1959-1/ [email protected]/ 1969-/- [email protected] 197ft5/ [email protected]/ Umnak 131 Uliaga Is. (N.W. shore) 500 400 132 Kagamil Is. (North Pt.) 75 20 133 Umnak Is. (Cape Aslik) 450 285 134 Bogoslof Is. 1,000 135 Fire Is. 100 136 Cape Chagak 20 CO Unalaska 140 Umnak Is. (Cape Idak) 600 141 Unalaska (Cape Izigan) 150 142 Unalaska (Spray Cape) 200 143 Unalaska (Cape Starichkof) 100 100 144 Unalaska (Pt. Tebenkof) 200 172 145 Unalaska (Cape Kalekta) 10 146 Unalaska (Whalebone Cape) 1,000 147 Egg Is. 0 180 148 Akutan Is. (Lava Point to Cape Morgan) 15,700 3,109 Unimak 158 Akutan Is. (Northern Head) 714 continued Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. l/ 3 June March June QuadraAnle No. Location 1959 [email protected]/ [email protected]/ [email protected]'-/ 1976-5/ [email protected]/ 159 Akun Is. (Akun Head) 2,000 160 Akun Is. (Billing's Head) 100 748 161. Tanginak Is. 600 470 162 Tigalda Is. (Rk. off W. end) 10 163 Tigalda Is. (Rk. off N.E. end) 750 80 164 Aiktak Is. 600 100 1 165 Ugamak Is. 13,400 10,975 3,940 166 Round Is. 6,000 00 167 Unimak Is. (Cape Sarichef) 200 168 Unimak Is. (Oksenof Pt.) 4,000 4,000 169 Akutan Is. (Cascape Bight) 1,675 170 Akutan Is. (Battery Pt.) 30 171 Akun Is. (Jackass Pt.) 20 172 Rootok Is. 118 173 Unimak Is. (Cape Lutke) 22 False Pass 174 Rock Is. 25 178 Bird Is. 90 continued Table 7. (continued) Summary of Sea Lion Rookery and Hauling Ground Counts. Ref. June March June 1 6/ Quadrangle No. Location 1959-1/ 1965V 19692/ 1975-4/ 19761/ 976-IL 179 Sanak Is. (South Rock) 1,000 1,200 600 180 Cherni Is. 0 0 181 Clubbing Rocks 200 0 620 182 Pinnacle Rock 125 900 Simeonof Is. 190 Nagai Is. (Saddlers Mistake) 20 375 191 Twins 0 0 192 Chernabura Is. (Pt. Farewell) 150 1,150 00 cc 193 Simeonof Is. 1 0 Cold Bay 200 Amak Is. 350 1,095 201 Sea Lion Rocks 2,000 4,100 7,500 2,006 Hagemeister Is.298 The Twins 50 Nushagak Bay 305 Round Island 325 l/ Kenyon, K. W. and D. W. Rice. 1961. Abundance and distribution of the Steller Sea Lion. J. Mammal. 42(2): 233-234 Kenyon, K. W. and J. G. King. 1965. Aerial survey of Sea Otters, other marine mammals and birds, Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. 19 April to 9 May 1965. Unpub, Report 66 pp. 3/ Sekora, P. 1973. Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge Study Report, U.S.F.W.S., Draft Report. 409 pp. Fiscus, C. H. and H. W. Branham, 1976. Baseline characterization: marine mammals National Marine Fish Service Annual Report Res. Unit 67. 5/ Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1976. Sea lion surveys south shore of the Alaska Peninsula, March 1-19, 1976 Unpublished Report in A.D.F.&G. files, Anchorage 6/ Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1976, Sea lion surveys south shore of the Alaska Peninsula, June 14-16, 1976. Unpublished Report in A.D.F.&G. files, Anchorage. SEA LION - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. + 563 maps. * 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 411 pp. 128 maps. * 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. * 1976 A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife 265 pp. 193 maps. Fiscus, C. H. and G. A. Baines. 1966. Food and feeding behavior of Steller and California sea lions. Jour. Mamm. 47; 196-200. and H. W. Braham. 1976. Baseline characterization: marine mammals. Annual Rpt. Res. Unit 67. Nat. Mar. Fish. Ser. Draft Rpt. Imler, R. H. and H. R. Sarber. 1947. Harbor seals and sea lions in Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wild. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rept. 28. 22 pp. Kenyon, K. W. 1965.- Aerial survey of sea otters and other marine mammals, Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands; 19 April to 9 May, 1965. Bur. Sport Fish and Wild. Unpublished report. Sand Point Naval Air Sta., Seattle. 24 pp. + 24 maps. Mathisen, 0. A., R. T. Baade and R. J. Lopp. 1962. Breeding habits, growth and stomach contents of the Steller sea lion in Alaska. Jour. Mamm. 43; 469-477 and R. J. Lopp. 1963. Photographic census of the Steller sea lion herds in Alaska, 1956-1958. U.S. Fish and Wild. Serv. Spec. Sci. Bull. #424. 17 pp. Murie, 0. J. and V. B. Scheffer. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. North Am. Fauna. No. 61. 406 pp. Pike, G. C. 1958. Food of the northern sea lion. Progress reports of the Pacific coast stations of the Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 112; 18-20. Pitcher, K. W. and J. S. Vania. 1973. Distribution and abundance of sea otter,sea lions and harbor seals in Prince William Sound. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. 31 pp. 1975. Distribution and abundance of sea otters, Steller sea lions and harbor seals in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Unpub. report. 31 pp. 189 Sandegren, F. E. 1970. Breeding and maternal behavior of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska. MSc. Thesis. Univ. of 40 Ak., College, Ak. 138 pp. Sekora, P. 1973. Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge Study Report. U.S.F.W.S., Draft Rpt. 409 pp. Spalding, D. J. 1964. Comparative feeding habits of the fur seal, sea lion and harbor seal on the British Columbia coast. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Bull. 146. 52 p. Vania, J. S. and E. G. Klinkhart. 1966. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. and E. G. Klinkhart. 1967. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. and E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1969. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-3 and W-17- 1. 1971. Sea lion and Beluga report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-17-2 and W-17-3. 190 WALRUS A small segment of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens population remains in or returns to the Bering Sea during ice free periods. Their most southern occurrence is on Amak Island near Cold Bay. In April 1962, Kenyon (1965) recorded about 100 walrus hauled out on the east shore of Amak Island. In May 1965 he saw five walrus near the west shore of the island and an additional 75 off Cape Glazenap, near the mouth of Izembek Lagoon. In 1969, (K. Schneider A.D.F.&G., pers. comm.) observed 80-100 walrus near the east shore of Amak Island. These observations suggest that the walrus is a regular visitor to the southwestern corner of Bristol Bay. The Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary in northern Bristol Bay is composed of Round Island, Crooked Island, High Island, Summit Island, The Twins, Black Rock and adjacent waters. Although walrus frequent all of these islands, Round Island is the most commonly used hauling ground. From August 16 to September 25, 1975 the Alaska Department of Fish and Game stationed personnel on Round Island with the objectives of preventing illegal harvest, to gain information on numbers and to record fluctuations in numbers. Walt Cunningham (A.D.F.&G., memo, 1975) recorded peak numbers of animals on the island on September I of 6,150 to 7,150 and on September 12 of 8,250. A series of aerial photographs taken on September 3 revealed 5,943 walrus. The walrus appear to leave the island for feeding forays and numbers decline to less than 1,000 individuals followed by a build-up as they return. Walrus seem to be extremely susceptible to disturbance from boats and aircraft. Planes, even if high, seem to alert walrus. When 191 aircraft come within 300-500 feet, the animals panic (Walt Cunningham, 0 A.D.F.&G., memo, 1975). 40 0 192 WHALES Miscellaneous observations on cetaceans are included here only to indicate their presence and possible relative abundance. In most cases, there is no more information than a collection of sightings; no population estimates can be made, nor can distribution be clearly defined. Beluga or White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) The beluga is a common inhabitant of the waters of Bristol Bay. There is, however, a dearth of factual information on the animals. Belugas have been studied in Alaska since 1954, but these investigations have dealt primarily with food habits and with methods of controlling depredations on commercially valuable salmon in the Bristol Bay area. Knowledge of their life history and ecology in Alaska is incomplete. In Alaska, belugas commonly occur from Cook Inlet westward to Bristol Bay, northward along the Alaskan coast and eastward into arctic Canada. A Bristol Bay population of 1,000 to 1,500 individuals appears to be resident throughout the year. The degree of interchange between this population and that of the northern Bering Sea, if any, is not known. The diet of belugas during the spring and summer months is probably the best known aspect of beluga biology in Alaska. The belugas examined by Brooks (1954, 1955, 1956, 1957) contained five species of salmon as well as smelt, flounder, sole, sculpin, blenny, lamprey, two types of shrimp, and mussels. Since this study was conducted during the summer months (May to August), it is possible that a greater number of food species enter the beluga's diet at other times of the year. 193 Belugas traditionally have been used as a source of meat, muktuk and oil for both humans and dogs by residents of certain villages on the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean coasts and along rivers that belugas periodically ascend. The demise of the sled dog as a result of the introduction of the snowmachine and the availability of alternate food sources through the development of a cash economy and welfare measures have greatly reduced the demand for beluga products. The ecology of the beluga has not been studied in detail. They are known to concentrate in certain estuaries when a specific food source such as smelt or salmon is concentrated there, and it is possible that the belugas significantly influence some fish populations. The relationships between belugas and red salmon have been studied in some detail in Bristol Bay where commercial fishermen feel that beluga predation is a significant factor influencing red salmon runs. Studies indicate that large numbers of salmon smolts are eaten by beluga s as they migrate to the sea in concentrated schools, and that a lesser number of adult salmon are eaten as they ascend the rivers to spawn. Predation on smolt is probably the most important influence. The importance of this predation depends on the size of the salmon run and how predation by belugas is viewed in relation to other mortality factors; however, a conflict does exist between belugas and the commerical fishing industry in Bristol Bay and perhaps in several other areas. The feasibility of transmitting underwater sound to prevent belugas from entering certain river systems where they prey upon salmon has been explored and indications are that the method is possible and practical. In some areas this technique may greatly reduce predation on salmon. 40 It is uncertain whether belugas were ever harvested commercially in Alaska. Whaling stations operated at Port Armstrong, Port Hobron 194 and at Akutan Island, prior to 1940, but the Alaskan Fishery and Fur Seal Industries Reports make no mention of belugas being a part of the whale harvest. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) Blue whales are distributed from the Aleutian Islands south at least to the waters off Mexico. In about September they concentrate in the eastern Gulf of Alaska and southeast of the Aleutian Islands. Blue whales are rarely found in the Bering Sea. With the arrival of winter in the North Pacific, they reverse the migration routes and return to their tropical and subtropical grounds. Right Whale (Balaena glacialis.) Early in this century, the slow swimming right whale was nearly exterminated by hunters who took advantage of its slow speed and the fact that its carcass floated. These animals were harvested for their great yield of whalebone and oil. The distribution of right whales is poorly known. When they were still a prime quarry of whalers, they were most frequently found in the summer from Vancouver Island throughout the Gulf of Alaska to the eastern Aleutian Islands and even into the Bering Sea. In recent years they have been seen from the northern Gulf of Alaska as far south as Baja, California, but they are very rare. Sperm Whale (Physeter catodon) Sperm whales are widely distributed in the North Pacific. During 40 the winter, they are generally below 40 degrees N. latitude. In summer, they may be found anywhere in the North Pacific, though the major 195 grounds are in the southwestern Bering Sea and the northern Gulf of Alaska. Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) Pressures from whaling nearly brought this species to extinction around the turn of the century, but it was protected by international agreement in 1946, and its population is increasing. There were an estimated 10,000 animals in 1970 (Leatherwood et al., 1972). Gray whales are migratory. The vast majority of the animals spend from about May through November feeding on small crustaceans in the waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. From December through January, they move southward to the breeding grounds along the coast of Mexico. From June 17 to 20, 1975, Fiscus and Braham (1976) sighted 84 gray whales along the northern coast of the Alaska Peninsula. Giant Bottlenose or Baird's Beaked Whale (Berardius bairdi) Though not very abundant, Giant bottlenose whales are distributed from St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea south to California. Goose-beaked or Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris) The goose-beaked whale is found from the Bering Sea south to Baja, California. Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) Minke whales, also known as little piked whales or sharp-headed finners, are the smallest of the baleen whales, reaching a length of approximately 33 feet. Fiscus and Braham (1976) saw four minke whales in the vicinity of Unalaska Island in June of 1975. 196 Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Killer whales are found in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and the entire Pacific Ocean. In Alaska, they are most abundant near the Aleutian Islands. Killer whales feed on large fishes and other marine mammals. Dall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) The Dall porpoise prefers the cold waters found off the coasts of Alaska, Canada and the Pacific Northwest. It is seldom seen south of 35 degrees N. Latitude. Murie (1959) reported seeing Dall porpoises in the Aleutian Islands. He did not see them in the Bering Sea and said they were not plentiful along the Alaska Peninsula. Harbor Porpoise (Phocaena phocaena The harbor porpoise inhabits bays, harbors, river mouths and relatively shallow inshore waters. Though it may travel in school of nearly a hundred individuals it is more often seen in pairs or in small groups of five to ten individuals. This porpoise occurs north to Pt. Barrow and is abundant in the Bering Sea. 197 WHALES - SELECTED REFERENCES Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 1973. Alaska's wildlife and habitat. Anchorage, Alaska. 143 pp. + 563 maps. * 1975. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Northeast Gulf of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 411 pp. 128 maps. * 1976. A compilation of fish and wildlife resource information for the State of Alaska. Vol. I - Wildlife. 873 pp. * 1976. A fish and wildlife resource inventory of the Cook Inlet- Kodiak areas. Vol. I - Wildlife. 265 pp. 193 maps. Brooks, J. W. 1954a Preliminary report on beluga investigations in Bristol Bay. Unpub. data. 1954b Annual report, Alaska Dept. Fisheries 6:51-57. 1955. Annual report, Alaska Dept. Fisheries 7:98-106. 1956. Annual report, Alaska Dept. Fisheries 8:54-56. 1957. Annual report, Alaska Dept. Fisheries 9:57-58. Fiscus, C. H. and H. W. Braham. 1976. Baseline characterization: marine mammals. Annual Rpt. Res. Unit 67. Nat. Mar. Fish. Ser. Draft Rpt. Klinkhart, E. Go 1966. The beluga whale in Alaska. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. in Wildl. Rest. Vol. VII. Proj. W-6-R and W-14-R. 11 pp. Leatherwood, So, W. E. Evans and Do W. Rice. 1972. The whales, dolphins and porpoises of the eastern North Pacific, a guide to their identi- fication in the water. NUC TP 282, 175 p. Not for sale. Can be obtained through MMD. Lensink, C. J. 1961. Status report: beluga studies. Unpub. rep't in Dept. of Fish and Game files. Murie, 0. J. and V. B. Scheffer. 1959. Fauna of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula. North Am. Fauna. No. 61. 406 pp. Pike, Go C. 1956. Guide to the whales, porpoises and dolphins of the northeast pacific and arctic waters of Canada and Alaska. Fish. Res. Bd. Canada. Circ. 32. Rice, Dale W. 1964. Eskimo whaling in arctic Alaska. Unpub. data, U.S.F.W.S. files, Seattle, Wash. 198 Scheffer, V. B. and J. W. Slipp. 1948. The whales and dolphins of Washington State with a key to the Cetaceans of the west coast of North America. Am. Midland Naturalist 39(2):257-337. Slijper,.E. J. 1962. Whales. Hutchinson & Co. London. 475 pp. Vania, J. S. and E. G. Klinkhart. 1966. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. and E. G. Klinkhart. 1967. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-1&2. and E. G. Klinkhart and K. B. Schneider. 1968. Marine mammal report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-14-R-3 and W-17-1. 1971. Sea lion and Beluga report. Alaska Fed. Aid. Wild. Rest. Rpt. Proj. W-17-2 and W-17-3. Wada, S. 1972. The ninth memorandum on the stock assessment of whales in the north Pacific. Unpub. report submitted to Scientific Committee, Internation Whaling Commission. 199 WATERFOWL* WATERFOWL RECREATION AND SUBSISTENCE USE Waterfowl Sport Hunting Waterfowl sport hunting statistics in Alaska are generated from a combination of two sources. Total duck harvest, number of days, snipe and crane harvest and goose harvest by species are calculated from an annual mail survey of about 10% of all hunting license buyers in Alaska. Duck species composition information is derived from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey where hunters send in duck wings. Relatively few waterfowl hunters actually reside in the Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands region. Average duck stamp sales for the five year period 1971-75 have been about 875 (5.6% of total state sales). Of this total about 740 were sold on the Alaska Peninsula and in Dillingham, while the remaining 135 were sold in the Aleutian Islands. However, due to the excellent waterfowl huntina available on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula (especially for geese) substantial numbers of hunters travel from the Anchorage area, the Kenai Peninsula and from Kodiak to hunt. This travel is almost exclusively done by aircraft. For example, Reeve Aleutian Airlines annually sponsors two special charters to Cold Bay from Anchorage, taking about 65 hunters on each of the hunts. Pilot Point is another popular area for out-of-region waterfowl hunters who travel there primarily by private light aircraft or by charter from King Salmon. A much smaller amount of hunting effort and bird harvest occurs in the Aleutians Islands and around local villages on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula and north side of Bristol Bay. A combination of This entire section by Dan Timm, A.D.F.& G. 200 fewer birds, limited facilities, the expense involved to hunt and inclement weather conditions preclude much hunting in these areas. The average season take per hunter of geese on the Alaska Peninsula is the highest in Alaska. over 41% of the total goose kill in Alaska occurs in the Bristol Bay area, primarily at Cold Bay and Pilot Point. Only about 1% of the state goose harvest occurs in the Aleutian Chain. Total goose harvest in the Bristol Bay-Aleutian Islands region comprises about 43% of the state's total goose harvest. Ducks are much less sought after in this region than geese. About 4.5% of the state's total duck harvest occurs on the Alaska Peninsula while less than 1% of the total harvest occurs on the Aleutian Chain, for a regional total of about 5% of the state's annual duck harvest. On the Alaska Peninsula an average of 5.7% of the total waterfowl hunting days in Alaska occur, while on the Aleutian Chain about 1% of the total days occur. over 80% of the annual duck harvest on the Alaska Peninsula is comprised of pintails, green winged teal, mallards, and wigens. Gadwall annually comprise 5% to 10% of the duck harvest, which constitutes the major harvest area for this species in Alaska. Although all of the above species of dabblers are taken, in the Aleutian Islands the major- ity of harvest is comprised of sea ducks which include eiders, scoters, harlequins, mergansers and old squaw. Species composition of geese shot on the Alaska Peninsula has been 53% Canada, 30% emperor, 15% brant and the remainder being comprised of snow geese and white-fronted geese. About half of the Canada geese killed are the small cackler subspecies. The emperior goose harvest represents over 90% of the sport hunter harvest of the species in Alaska. On the Aleutian Chain nearly all of the geese shot are emperors. A few 201 Canada geese are taken on Unimak Island incidental to bear and caribou 40 hunting. Since 1973 the season has been closed on Canada geese in the Aleutian Chain, except Unimak Island, to protect the rare and endangered Aleutian Canada goose. Table 1 shows the four year 1972-1975 average sport hunting stat- istics for three major hunting areas on the Alaska Peninsula, totals for the Bristol Bay area, totals for the Aleutian Islands and what statewide totals have been during this time period. As shown in this table, nearly 20% and 14% of the statewide goose kill occurs at Izembek Lagoon and Pilot Point, respectively. The importance of these two areas to waterfowl hunters in Alaska cannot be over emphasized. A growing number of out-of-state hunters are also using these and other areas on the north side of the Peninsula. Both crane and snipe harvest in the region is relatively insignificant. An average of 40 and 125 birds, respect- ively, are shot each year. It is estimated that waterfowl hunters in the Bristol Bay area spend an average of $192,800 each year. The meat from the birds which are harvested has a calculated value of $48,750, for a total value of $241,550. On the Aleutian Chain it is estimated that hunters annually spend $15,300 in pursuit of waterfowl. The birds which are harvested are worth $2,950 in meat value for a combined total of $18,250. Combined .dollars spent waterfowl hunting and dollar meat values equal a total of $259,800 - the amount which waterfowl hunting is "worth" in this region. This equals about 10% of the total dollars generated by waterfowl hunting in Alaska.* 40 Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1976. 202 Table 1 Waterfowl sport hunting statistics by location, Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands. Izembek Pilot Port Other Areas Total Total Statewide Five Year Average Lagoon Point Heiden Bristol Bay Bristol Bay Aleutian Is. Totals Hunter Days 735 1,255 75 (est) 1,045 3,110 610 54,120 Ducks Shot 665 1,555 175 (est) 1,300 3,695 615 84,260 Geese-'/ No species data available by area. Canada - - - - 3,375 02/ 10,185 Emperor - - - - 1,925 175 2,295 Brant - - - - 880 0 1,320 White-fronted - - - - 70 0 865 Snow - - - - 155 0 640 Total Geese 2,135 250 (est) 1,105 6,405 175 15,305 Cranes Shot - - - - 40 0 830 Snipe Shot 125 0 2,945 l/ 1972-75, four year average. 2/ Season has been closed on Canada geese since 1973. Nonconsumptive Recreational Use Nonconsumptive recreational use of waterfowl and sea birds or any wildlife is a difficult entity to quantify under most circumstances. Under highly controlled situations such as national parks, visitor days can be measured and outdoor activities evaluated by questionnaires. In the Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands area, only descriptions of the noncon- sumptive values can be provided. Probably few, if any, people travel to this region specifically to view waterfowl or sea birds. The one exception may be Round Island in the Walrus Island group. A special use permit is required from the Department of Fish and Game to visit this island where large numbers of walrus and spectacular numbers of sea birds on steep cliff nesting colonies occur. A visit to Round Island is, however, an expensive and arduous trip, and consequently few people utilize the area. The King Salmon area in the spring and the Cold Bay area in the fall and spring both offer exceptional waterfowl viewing opportunities. In late April and early May the King Salmon River is one of the first water areas to become ice free. Consequently, tens of thousands of whistling swans, ducks and geese congregate in the immediate vicinity of, and even in the town of King Salmon. Local residents of King Salmon and Naknek are annually treated to several weeks of excellent bird viewing as are visitors to these towns during this time period. The Department of Fish and Game has considered recommending a stretch of the King Salmon River for critical habitat designation. 204 On Izembek Lagoon the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed an area to hunting adjacent to the Air Force radar site north of Cold Bay. This area affords exceptional viewing opportunities of the hundreds of thousands of waterfowl which stay in the lagoon for about two months each fall. The viewing area is easily accessible from Cold Bay by vehicle. However, due to the remoteness of Cold Bay few people except for local residents, waterfowl hunters during the fall, and occasional transient visitors utilize the viewing area. Good viewing opportunities are also available during the spring. However, numbers of birds are far fewer in the spring than fall, and thus viewing is not as spectacular. Fair to good waterfowl and other bird viewing opportunities are available in sometimes year round situations at almost every village and town in the Bristol Bay - Aleutain Islands region. Most of the villages are located on the sea coast and practically all have tide flats nearby. For many residents of this region a spring or fall just wouldn't be the same without the arrival and departure of waterfowl and other birds. Subsistence Use The Migratory Bird Treaty between the United States and Great Britain for Canada all6ws for the taking of alcids and their eggs any time of the year for food and clothing, but not for sale. These special provisions apply only to Eskimos and Indians, but it has been assumed that Aleuts enjoy these same provisions. Historically, Aleuts living in the Aleutian Chain depended to some degree on alcids and alcid eggs for survival. A pure subsistence life style no longer exists in this 205 region as a cash economy has gradually replaced one of pure subsistence. However, the legal harvest of alcids and illegal spring and summer harvest of waterfowl and other birds still occurs in the Bristol Bay Aleutian Islands region. There have been no systematic or comprehensive studies done to ascertain the magnitude of subsistence hunting in this region. However, it is known that varying amounts of illegal hunting occurs, depending on the individual village. Estimates (and they are purely estimates) are that perhaps a total of 10,000 ducks, 3,000 geese, 300 swans and less than 100 sandhill cranes are annually taken in this region outside of the legal waterfowl season. In addition an unknown, but probably substantial number of alcid eggs are picked each year in the Aleutian Islands. Subsistence hunting in this region is probably not adversely effecting the welfare of any species or population of waterfowl or other birds. WATERFOWL PRODUCTION Bristol Bay Uplands Since the mid-1950's the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been conducting estimates of the breeding duck populations in Alaska. They annually count birds over flight lines replicated each year, covering most of the major duck breeding habitat in Alaska. Because the paths flown are the same each year, estimates of breeding ducks are comparable and lend themselves to long range average estimates. Most of the aerial counts on the Alaska Peninsula are conducted over upland areas below 500 feet MSL. No such aerial surveys have been conducted in the Aleutian Islands because censusing there would be a very difficult and expensive 2 0 6 proposition. The major waterfowl production habitat in the Bristol Bay area is formed on an outwash plain north of the Alaska Peninsula - Aleutian Mountain Range and in the valleys of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers. The rolling heath uplands are liberally dotted with lakes and ponds of varying size. The major duck production areas encompass about 9,200 square miles. In Table 2 the results of 19 years of aerial surveys in the Bristol Bay area are presented along with estimates of the number of breeding ducks in the Aleutian Islands. As can be seen in Table 2, in the Bristol Bay area about 50% of the breeding duck population is comprised of dabblers and divers while sea ducks and mergansers comprise the remainder. The total estimated breeding duck population is 377,800 birds, or 33.1 ducks per square mile. Good estimates of the actual number of ducklings produced in this area @ire not available. However, a reasonable assumption for both the Bristol Bay area and Aleutian Islands is that dabblers produce 0.9 young per adult, divers 0.7 young per adult and sea ducks 0.5 young per adult. Using these production figures we can calculate the average annual fall flight from the Bristol Bay area to be 622,500 ducks. Most of the dabblers travel south to lower Pacific Flyway wintering areas. The exception is most mallards which probably remain in Alaska to overwinter. Except for goldeneyes and buffleheads, most of the divers also travel to lower Pacific Flyway wintering areas. Very few of the sea ducks and mergansers from the Bristol Bay area travel outside of Alaska. A conservative estimate of the number of breeding ducks in the Aleutian Chain is 148,000 (Table 2). These include 19,000 dabblers of which an estimated 10,000 are common teal. These are the only 207 Table 2. Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands average breeding duck populations, population densities, and estimated fall duck flights, 1957-1975, 19 year average. Bristol Bay (From USFWS Surveys) Aleutians 1/ Total Pintail 51,200 5,000 56,200 Mallard 14,000 3,000 17,000 Am. Wigon 10,700 0 10,700 G-W Teal 10,700 10,000 (common) 20,700 Gadwall 3,500 1,000 4,200 Shoveler 500 0 500 SUBTOTAL DABBLERS 90,300 19,000 109,300 Scaup 87,100 3,000 90,100 Goldeneye 10,000 0 10,000 Bufflehead 1,300 0 1,300 Canvasback 100 0 100 SUBTOTAL DIVERS 98,500 3,000 101,500 l/ Harlequirr- 50,000 100,000 150,000 Scoter 76,000 0 76,000 Old Squaw 54,500 1,000 55,500 Merganser 6,800 5,000 11,800 Eider 1,700 25,000 26,700 SUBTOTAL SEA DUCKS 189,000 131,000 320,000 TOTAL ALL DUCKS 377,800 148,000 530,800 Ducks per sq. mile 33.1 Est. Fall Flight 2/ 622,500 237,700 860,200 l/ No surveys made estimates only. 2/ Production assumed to be: dabblers - 0.9 yg/ad. divers - 0.7 yg/ad. sea ducks- 0.5 yg/ad. 203 common teal in North America. These teal are apparently year-round residents of the Aleutian Chain. Probably the only diving ducks breeding in the Aleutian Chain are an estimated 3,000 greater scaup. An estimated 131,000 sea ducks and mergansers summer here and the bulk of this pop- ulation is comprised of harlequin ducks. A substantial number of common eiders also occur. Possibly all of these 131,000 sea ducks and their progeny remain in Alaska throughout their life. Using the productivity estimates provided earlier the total annual fall duck flight from the Aleutian Islands is 237,700 birds. As can be seen in Table 2 the combined Bristol Bay - Aleutian Islands breeding duck population is estimated at 530,800 birds. Of this total dabblers and divers each comprise 20% while sea ducks and mer- gansers represent the remainder. The total estimated fall flight after production is 860,200 ducks. Summering geese in the region are rare, but do include the estim- ated 1,500 rare and endangered Aleutian Canada geese which breed exclu- sively on Buldir Island at the western end of the Aleutian Chain. These geese will be discussed in the section on rare and endangered species. White-fronted geese prehaps number 1,000 in the fall flight. These birds are found in low densities primarily north and west of Naknek Lake. These whitefronts are most likely part of the Pacific Flyway population which winters in central California. Canada geese or any other species of geese are not known to breed in the region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there is an average annual fall flight of 10,600 whistling swans from the Bristol Bay area. The highest whistling swan nesting densities occur generally north of Port Heiden and around the Peninsula to the Nushagak River 209 Valley. Whistlers generally nest in upland heath in low densities. Swans banded in this area have tended to migrate to and winter primarily in central California. A small population of swans are apparently permanent residents of the Unimak Island - Cold Bay area. These birds number about 300 and nest primarily on Unimak Island. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel have captured and measured a few birds and found that body measurements were intermediate between whistling swans and trumpeter swans. However, sample size is small. There is a small population of the Asiatic whooper swan wintering in the Aleutain Islands. It is possible that whooper swans also breed in this area, but no records of this exist. The Aleutians are the only place where wintering whooper swans in North America are found. A very few trumpeter swans may nest here, primarily in the brush transition zone between heath and spruce forest in the Kukaklek Lake area. GENERAL WATERFOWL DISTRIBUTION North Side of Alaska Peninsula The importance of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula as a fall and to a lesser degree spring staging and resting area for waterfowl cannot be over emphasized. All or nearly all of North America's black brant, and essentially the world's population of emperor geese and cackling Canada geese utilize areas on the north side of the Peninsula. Additionally many hundreds of thousands of snowgeese, white-fronted geese, lesser Canada geese, sandhill cranes, dabbling and diving ducks and sea ducks are present during fall and spring months. Gulls, terns, shorebirds and other birds number in the millions. The largest 210 waterfowl concentrations occur in eight large estuaries. Part of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's outer continental shelf studies entail the delination and characterization of coastal bird habitats. During October 1975 an aerial survey was conducted over the north side of the Peninsula and habitat types were delinated. In Table 3 the results of this survey are depicted for the major estuaries except Izembek Lagoon. Coastal habitats were catagorized according to major vegetation - substrate types. Both the shoreline distance encompassed by each habitat type and the total area in hectors of each habitat are presented in Table 3. Also included are the total sizes of each estuary. Although not included in Table 3, Izembek Lagoon contains the largest eelgrass bed in the world and has extensive exposed flats at low tide comprised of a mixture of sand and detritus eelgrass material. Large expanses of beachrye and sedgemeadow are present above mean high tide. In Table 4 the habitats along the outside coast of the north side of the Peninsula are quantified. Sandy beach is the most abundant habitat type. Sedgemeadow generally above mean high tide is the most frequently encountered vegetation. Numerous surveys during the spring and fall have been conducted along the north side of the Peninsula, primarily in the major estuaries. Table 5 presents a summary of various aerial surveys conducted through 1974, before OCS studies were initiated. Data in Table 5 represents counts of both ducks and geese, but do not represent complete counts for each area. Two areas on Unimak Island and one area on the north side of Bristol Bay are also included.in Table 5. During October 1975 the first comprehensive aerial survey of birds along the north side of the Peninsula was conducted. The results of bird counts related to habitat type in which the birds were observed is summarized in Table 6. Only the 211 major estuaries are included in Table 6 while in Table 7 these data are summarized for outer beaches along the north side of the Peninsula. It must be emphasized that surveys such as these must be taken as indi- cators of relative bird abundance rather than precise estimates of bird populations. These surveys merely give an indication of bird numbers present at one time at one place. During migration, birds are con- tinually coming and going, areas and the total number of birds which use each area during a given fall or spring are many times that indicated by these aerial surveys. During October 1976 surveys similar to those conducted in 1975 were flown on the north side of the Peninsula. The results of those counts are presented in Table 8. In 1976 only the major estuaries were sur- veyed, not the outside coast. Data for 1976 are broken down by species of birds by area. During spring.and fall migration on the Peninsula, dabbling ducks, whistling swans, snow geese, cackling Canada geese and most species of shorebirds are more abundant in the estuaries from Seal Islands north. From Port Moller south through Izembek Lagoon, black brant, lesser Canada geese and Steller's eiders are more common. Scoters and emperor geese are common on all of the estuaries. During the winter, bird numbers are only a fraction of what they are during other periods of the year due to ice cover. However, Port Moller and,Izembek Lagoon during milder winters have several thousand emperor geese and tens of thousands of Steller's eiders present. Figure 1 depicts the major estuaries along the north side of the Alaska Pen- insula and other prominent geographic locations. 212 Table 3. Quantity of various habitat types for the major estuaries of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. Habitat Types Distance in Kilometers Area in Hectares Mud/Sedge Mud/ Possible Sandy Gravel Rocky Meadow Beach Rye Sedge Beach Mud Estuary Estuary Beach Bench Beach Ecotone Ecotone Total Meadow Sand Rye Flat Total Eatuary__Area* Influence Egegik 13.4 0 0 11.8 0 25.2 3833.3 0 51.8 4327.9 8213.0 9764.4 0 Ugashik Bay 50.9 0 0 118.5 4.5 173.9 8282.9 2416.5 4009.3 3056.2 17764.9 19281.1 5128.2 CindQr River 16.2 0 0 71.1 12.5 99.8 4662.0 385.9 2305.1 5027.2 12380.2 10800.4 0 Port Heiden 30.0 0 0 61.6 14.3 105.9 7964.3 598.3 1087.8 11106.1 20756.5 27255.0 0 Seal Islands 31.1 0 0 58.7 33.8 123.6 3952.4 1383.0 823.6 1551.4 7710.4 9521.0 0 Port Moller Total Estuary 216.7 65.7 10.9 40.3 0 333.6 3095.0 2463.0 543.9 37135.9 40621.1 75370.1 .'.11940. 1 Port Moller (East) 55.8 49.3 7.1 2.9 0 115.1 261.6 157.9 0 13014.9 13424.4 31883.4 0 N) Herendeen/ F- Mud Bays Deer Is. 73.8 16.4 3.8 0 0 94.0 1201.7 0 0 8218.2 9419.9 27350.8 0 Nelson Lagoon 87.1 0 0 37.4 0 124.5 1631.7 2305.1 543.9 13286.9 17767.6 16135.9 0 ,filncludes open water portion Table 4. Quantity of various habitat types for the outside beach of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. Habitat Types Distance in Kilometers Area in Hectares Section of Beach Sandy Beach Rocky [email protected] Gravel Beach Sedge Meadow Beach Rye Mud Flats Cape Horn to Naknek River 16.6 0 0 2874.9 0 0 Naknek River to Bishop (at Egegik Bay) 67.1 0 0 1509.9 0 0 Goose Point to Smoky Point 67.1 0 0 3703.7 854.7 543.9 (at Egegik Bay) (at Ugashik Bay) South Spit to Meshik 97.7 0 0 699.3 2393.2 0 (at Ugashik Bay) (at Port Heiden) Strogonof Point to Entranc&- Point 134.6 0 9.0 1090.4 1963.2 0 (at Port Heiden) (at Port Moller) Lagoon Point to Moffet Point 109.0 0 0 2356.9 543.9 233.1 (at Nelson Lagoon) (at Izembek Lagoon) Cape Galzenap to Cape Krenitzin 36.7 0 0 0 0 0 (at I2embek Lagoon) (at Bechevin Bay) Chunak to Otter Point 25.2 0 0 0 0 0 (at Bechevin Bay) (at Unimak Island) Table 5. Ducks and geese* found in estuaries of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island by aerial survey. Date of Survey Location 10-23-68 5-13'69 10-6-69 12-15-69 3-3-70 6-29-70 8-25:-70 9-24-70 10-8-70 9-14-71 10-4-71 Egegik 170 1397 43,580 - 0 1671 - - - - 4478 Ugashik 2550 1145 70,190 - 1000 1142 2128 7 362 75,850 3408 19,300 Cinder River 50,000 5200 115,000 1250 500 869 7271 20,195 25,450 3498 38,313 Port Heiden 41,000 4800 99,350 405 - 2499 5355 118,800 56,190 5762 51,765 Ilnik 38,500 3110 16,500 1156 - 3038 4460 16,965 7400 7906 39,812 Port Moller 3177 3641 - 7025 - 1461 - 35,770 44,962 6630 444,655 Hook Lagoon - - - 81 1510 4550 - - - Kvichak River - - 245 - - Ul Urilia Bay - - 17,000 Swanson Lagoon - 9365 The total does not represent a complete count of each area and the experience of observers to estimate numbers varied. All counts were from a fixed-wing aircraft. Table 6. Total. number of birds observed in estuaries during aerial surveys of the north side of..the Alaska Peninsula, October 1975. Estuary Sedge Meadow Mudflat Beach Open Water Total Egegik (transects*) 460 2,836 2,195 188 5,679 Ugashik (transects*) 12,609 4,567 2,124 20,445 Cinder River (transects**) 1,576 9,824 61 15,680 27,141 Port Heiden (transects*) 2,713 3,989 233 4,535 11,470 Seal Islands (total count) 3,134 2,968 6,989 12,993 26,084 Port Moller (total count) 0 116 3,915 9,117 13,148 Herendeen Bay (total count) 0 25 1,[email protected] 8,513 9,696 Mud Bay - Deer Island (total count) 0 4,827 857 11,678 17,362 Nelson Lagoon (total count) 2,535 13,126 3,122 45,213 63,996 Izembek Lagoon (total count) --- --- --- --- 342,507 Not complete coverage: 200 meters on either side of aircraft along transects. One side of aircraft only due to recorder malfunction. Table 7. Total number of birds observed during aerial surveys along beach of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, October 1975. Section of Beach Sandy Beach Open Water Mouth of Stream Naknek River to Smoky Point 2,238 2,836 735 South Spit to South End of Cinder River 439 5,604 South End Cinder River to Ilnik* 1,442 413 40 Ilnik to Cape Leontovich 1,192 19,975 368 Cape Leontovich to Cape Krenitzin 2,076 2,858 93 Chunak Point to Otter Point 549 187 44 Total 7,936 31,873 1,280 F- *Right side of aircraft only because of recorder malfunction. Table 8'. Summary of bird observations in estuaries of the Alaska Peninsula, aerial surveys, October 13-16, 1976. Cinder R. Port Seal Mud Nelson Izembek Ugashik Book Lagoon Heiden Is. Bay Lagoon Lagoon Loons (unid) 1 1 Large loon 2 2 1 15 18 Small loon 1 5 2 Grebe (unid) 1 1 1 8 6 R.N. Grebe 1 3 2 Cormorants (unid) 10 2 26 Swans 4 59 98 6 2 Ceese (Dark) 35 230 250 175 Canada 11,774 10,744 4,791 1,364 80 41 29,733 Brant 14 99,349 Emperor 422 3,601 4,073 10,102 3,418 14,220 5,507 Snow 545 2,250 2 Duck (unid) 77 808 114 3 931 Dabbler Ducks (unid) 6,046 2,371 5,667 812 135 1,418 462 Mallard 581 126 60 483 14 552 Pintail 259 1,718 834 5,966 959 495 2,068 G-W Teal 80 3 99 Am. Wigeon 41 6 3 10 Diving Ducks 173 76 75 6 Scaup 17 11 1 136 Coldeneye 52 3 Bufflehead 3 5 5 Sea Ducks (unid) 28 512 12,017 1,801 218 10,316 4,816 Oldsquaw 1 85 75 72 20 Harlequin 4 Eiders (mixed) 76 1 84 1,690 Steller's 249 460 943 3,011 17,294 15,532 Large eider (unid) 4 31 73 637 55 Common 1 195 25 80 4 Scoter (unid) 1,367 5 10,817 108 102 782 1,232 W-W scoter 45 3 51 1 23 18 Surf scoter 12 5 25 Common scoter 38 99 320 2 372 1,447 123 Merganser (unid) 4 1 R-B Merganser 20 Eagles (Q-ad, M-im) 2-M l-Q,l-M 4-Q,2-M 3-Q,3-M 6-Q,6-M Gyrfalcon I Ptarmigan 46 Large shorebirds 85 503 20 Yellowlegs 7 Medium shorebirds 907 1,858 3,559 841 3,700 2,651 4,908 Small shorebirds 1,375 15,805 3,466 1,860 19,143 4,346 Mixed shorebirds 1,113 1,500 1,500 3,800 Jaeger (parasitic) 2 Gulls (unid) 285 1,769 337 2,000 1,500 652 529 Large gulls (unid) 18 70 305 92 9 Claucous-winged 161 625 190 1,579 385 3,656 4,055 Herring 3 Small gull 175 1 2 40 132 546 Mew 209 7 157 10 46 59 Bonaparte's 16 31 1 62 Kittiwake 123 1 55 200 359 977 Sabines 1 15 Murre 3 Small alcid 2 1 Pigeon guillemot I Raven 2 2 5 2 14 Passerine - small 7 132 65 8 Snow bunting 35 25 50 4 218 Figure I.. North side of Alaska Peninsula Scotch Cal) to Cape Horn. ..CAPE HOR 0 V 13 E R I N G S E A CINI)IFR R. 0 CD Zr 0 0 0 0 0 [email protected], 0 0 41 0 0 0 0 10 [email protected] 0 r Sc 1cVA MILES ,0 North Side of Bristol Bay In Table 9 the various habitat types on the north side of Bristol Bay are quantified. These represent the same habitat classifications which were used on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. There are no large estuaries in this area similar to those found on the Peninsula. Thus, there are no large waterfowl concentrations present. However, there are a number of small estuaries and exposed inter-tide flats which in the aggregate are important to migrating waterfowl and shorebirds for resting and feeding purposes. The most important of these are located at the head of Nanvak Bay, in Osviak Bay, at the mouth of the Kanik River, in Tvativak Bay, a small marsh on the east side of Protection Point, and on the west Nushagak Flats in Nushagak Bay. In Table 10 the result's of five aerial surveys conducted on these areas in 1970 and 1971 are presented. Bays and river mouths receive extensive use by waterfowl and shorebirds during both spring and fall migrations. During spring migration migrant birds may be delayed while waiting for favorable winds or the ice to melt to the north. When these conditions are present bird concentrations on the coastal areas can be spectular for a few days. The map depicted in Figure 2 lists the prominent geographical land marks and locations of the more important bird habitat in this area. Offshore Bird Distribution in Bristol Bay Probably the first offshore water bird surveys flown in Bristol Bay were conducted by personnel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in October 1969. Because the survey aircraft was single engine, surveys were conducted only up to' twelve miles from shore. Figure 3 depicts the transects flown and general area of coverage for this survey which extends from Unimak 220 Table 9. Quantity of various habitat types for the beach of the north side of Bristol Bay, Kuichak River to Cape Newenham and Walrus Islands. Shoreline in Miles Area in Square Miles Mud Mud Sand Gravel Rock Sand Gravel Rock Sand Gravel Rock -Mud Sand Mud Mixed Elymus &_ & & & & & & Flats Flats & Forbes Sand Rock Rock Sand Gravel Sand Gravel Sand (Inter- Flats tidal)_ Cape Horn to 24.7 3.5 34.1 10.25 27.38 19.78 19.69 Etolin Point Etolin Point 81.3 0 16.7 23.80 0 4.62 59.38 to Dillingham Dillingham to 95.0 3.3 30.1 45.10 .05 0 55.27 Cape Constantine Cp. Constantine 0 0 40.8 0 2.6 0 3.8 3.54 .27 0 21.57 to Tvativak Bay Tvativak Bay to 0 0 12.2 0 2.1 9.0 3.6 0.9 1.4 0.94 .24 0 9.45 Right Hand Point Right Hand Point 5.1 0 7.6 0.9 10.9 0.7 5.1 9.4 0.24 0 0 5.78 to Togiak Togiak to 0 0 13.8 1.6 0.3 4.3 0.61 0.71 Tongue Point Tongue Point to 0 0 24.1 2.1 1.9 9.6 2.73 1.21 Asigyukpak Spit Asigyukpak Spit 0 0 17.2 1.1 18.7 0.3 0.6 5.3 2.64 to Cape Newenham Hagemeister Is. 0 0 48.4 3.0 6.5 1.4 0.6 2.7 0.2 1.5 3.92 0.69 3.31 Summit Is. 1.4 1.5 3.5 High Is. 1.3 1.6 1.3 2.8 3.1 0.07 Crooked Is. 3.6 0..8 4.3 0.4 1.2 1.5 0.09 Round Is. 1.2 1.7 1.7 rp-1 q 9si I 7,n [email protected] [email protected],l 24.2 3.6 23.8 0.6 12.8 83.87 27.94 28.32 177.90 5.30 Table 10. Ducks and geese found in bays of the north side of Bristol Bay by aerial survey. Date of Survey Location 5-4-70 6-30-70 8-24-70 6-7-71 9-8-71 Nanvak Bay - - 3467 200 2000 Osviak Bay - - - 24 500 Kanik River 30 - 1804 - - Tvativak Bay 43 - 400 - - Protettion Point 50 705 282 - - W. Nushagak Flats 1073 681 236 - - 222 F igure, 2. North Bristol- Bay Cape Newenham to Kvichak River. 13 A'I 0 0 14 F-IN 00 -TVATIVAK BAY (P 0 0 CAPE NEWENHAM 0 C!" BRISTOL, BAY Cape Newenham 00 '@A 16 16 11 Figure 3. Transects flown in October 1969. Island around Bristol Bay to Hagemeister Island. The eastern Bering Sea, including Bristol Bay, is one of the largest congregation areas for water birds in the world. Because waters of Bristol Bay are rich in small food species, the area is used by millions of migrant birds bound to and from vast Arctic nesting areas of Siberia, Alaska and Canada; as well as being a wintering area for tens of millions of Arctic nesting species and southern hemispher e nesting birds. It is also a wintering area for millions of locally [email protected] sea birds. The 1969 survey sampled a calculated total area of 8,064 square miles of water inside of the twelve mile limit. An indicated 47.8 birds per square mile were present, with a sampling error of 27.5%, providing a total expanded population of 385,700 birds of all species. Because this was the initial aerial survey of sea birds in Alaska, population data are minimal. In Table 11 data from this survey are broken down by catagory and birds observed. Various species of waterfowl comprised the bulk of the bird population; scoters comprised 47% of the total birds observed and 88% of the total waterfowl. During late July and early August 1969, personnel of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service made bird observations from aboard a large research vessel. Total bird counts were attempted along known transect lines as depicted in Figure 4. All birds seen either side of the ship for pre- established distances were tallied. Data were analyzed by species by 20 mile segments for each transect. Figure 5 depicts relative bird den- sities by species for each 20 mile transect in the survey. The most abundant birds by far were slenderbilled shearwaters, followed by 225 Table 11. Bristol Bay Waterbird Survey - October 1969 99," 8-Mile Segments A-vera-e % of Total % of Birds per Expanded 0 ,Range Number Frequency Frequency Birds Total Birds So. Mi. Pot)ulatioi Loons 0-2 1.5 4 4% 6 .06 .03 242 Grebes 0.;.2 1.5 4 4% 6 .06 .03 242 Tube-Nosed Swimmers 0-9 2.7 34 34% 93 .98 .47 3,790 Cormorants o-6 2.1 16 16% 33 .35 .17 1,371 Waterfowl 0-738 74.1 68 69% 5,036 53.14 25.43 265,068 Shorebirds 0-549 53.8 36 36% 1,937 20.45 9.78 78,866 Gulls 0-196 20.5 86 87% 1,759 18-57 8.88 71,608 *Alcids 0-88 9.2 62 63% 573 6.05 2.89 23,305 Unidentified 0-6 30 .32 .15 1,2 Total 0-747 75.4 96 97% 9,473 99.98 47.83 385,701 Range = Least and greatest number seen on any one segment Average number = Average number of sightings on segments where sightings occurred Frequency = Number of segments in which sightings occurred % of frequency = % of total segments where sightings occurred Total birds = Total all segments % of total birds = Composition of each _-IcrdiV.. in total bird count Birds per sq. mi. = 9,473 birds seen divided by 198 square miles in the sample Expanded population = Birds per square miles multiplied by 8,064 sq. mi. in area 226 [email protected]@.qay Cape Newenharn W.. Nakrek wer Walrus Is. 4z Hagemeister L Cape Constantine Bristol Say UgashiX.: :Bay Pribilof Is. X Q ........... [email protected] Is. % ....... 0; er: ....... ..... . . . .... Ampk 1. Sanak L [email protected]' ?S\ OC 50 0 so 100mi. [email protected] 4. Figure 4. Transects along which observations of pelagic birds were made in Bristol Bay for the periods 13 to 31 July (solid line) and 1 to 20 August (broken line) 1969. Gaps between transects represent areas-for which observations were not made. 227 ARLUIC [email protected]@# FULMAR LEGE-ND: NUMBER OF BIRDS PER 20-MILE SEGMENT: -0 1-5 6-100 101-1,000 0 .1,001+ SIGHTING FROM LAND: SLEINDER-BILLFT) SHEAR-11-4(" FORK-TAILED PFTREL LEACH'S PETREL NVATER 1:4\ 0 PELAGIC CORMORANT HARLEQUIN DUCK KING EIDER 4-- T T :2 XVHIT E-N%'I.NGED-`K0TER'c RUD DY TURN STONE %VANDERING TxrTLER 4 T -4. /A" Pz-D PHALAROPE f NORTHERN [email protected] POMARINE JAEGER T Figure 5. Distribution and numbers of birds observed in Bristol Bay along 20-mile segments and sightings of birds from land, 13 July to 20 August 1969. 228 PARASITIC JAEGER LONG-TAI I.FD -JAF(,FR GLAUCOUS-WINGED [email protected],.f D T HERRING GUI1 MEW GULL B1,ACK-I,EGGE_"I4T'I'" WA K E 41 ITT RED-LEGGED K '[email protected],,KEI-4 SA B IN E'S [email protected] ARCTIC TERN f- T V1 Ai THICK-BILLED ALEUTIAN T E N C [email protected], II ON [email protected] E jo. MARBLED ',ILI--R'RE1_ET XITTLITZ'S %[email protected]@' Z"' ANCIENT MUR'RELET T CRESTED AUKLET 11ORNED PUFFIN e '[email protected]) PUFFIN [All 1j t :3 f [email protected] 1.00, :,f XIT Figure 5. continued. n n n black-legged kittiwakes, fulmars, common glaucous-winged gulls, and various other alcids. Shearwaters are a southern hemisphere nesting bird found in New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania, and spend the southern hemisphere winter, which is summer in Alaska, in Bristol Bay and other areas of the Bering Sea and parts of the Gulf of Alaska. In early May 1972 the first extensive aerial survey of birds and mammals in Bristol Bay was made by personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Transect lines were flown north and south on loran frequencies and were spaced ten nautical miles apart. Each transect was then broken into ten nautical mile segments. Data were recorded by individual segments. Figure 6 depicts the transects flown, individual segments within each transect, average densities of birds by category and what the expanded total population of that catagory was for the entire bay. Table 12 summarizes these data by providing average densities of birds by category and what their respective total calculated populations were. The largest category of birds observed were ducks with a total population of 691,082. Over 67% of these birds were eiders, and king eiders co;Prised most of these. Over the entire Bay, an average of 52.1 birds per square nautical mile were observed. The greatest concentrations of birds occured in the northeastern end of Bristol Bay and along coastal areas. During April 9-13, the survey depicted in Figure 6 was replicated by personnel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The results of this survey are presented in Table 13. The total expanded population by species or category of birds is presented in the far right-hand column of Table 13. Due in part to changes in survey design, the total cal- culated populations of many birds are significantly larger than 230 Table 12. Calculated populations and densities of birds and mammals in Bristol Bay, May 1972. Group/Species Average Density Expanded Population (birds or mammals per square mile) Loons 0.1 3,452 Petrels, Fulmars, Shearwaters (tube-nosed swimmers) 0.7 19,125 Cormorants 0.3 7,891 Geese/Swans 1.5 40,771 Duck s 25.1 691,082 Hawks, eagles, owls trace 219 Shorebirds trace 986 Gulls, Kittiwakes, terns, jaegers 13.4 368,036 Alcids 10.9 299,098 Passerines trace 109 Unident. 0.2 7,069 Whales trace 1,424 Walrus(l) o.6 16,823 Seals o.2 5,918 Sea Otter trace 1,096 Misc. & unident sea mammals trace 153 Total Birds 1,437,838 Total Mammals 25,414 (1) All walrus were sighted on the pack ice, well out from shore. Figure 3 shows a typical walrus group found in open leads of the Bristol Bay ice pack in May. 231 Table 13, Calculated total populations of birds in Bristol Bay, April 9-13, 1973. Numbers Observed Total Observed Total Observed Species (Seat location)* in transect x Conversion** Alcid Left 8 Right 148 156 17,940 Alcid, small Left 328 Right 406 734 84,410 Bird, unidentified Left 0 Right 21 21 2,415 Cormorant Left 3 Right 8 11 1,265 Duck, unidentified Left 6 Right 77 83 9,545 Duck, brown Left 8 Right 0 8 920 Eagle, bald Left 0 Right 1 1*** -- Eider Left 483 Right 106 544 62,560 Eider, common Left 14 Right 1 15 1,725 Eider, king Left 10,070 Right 6,143 16,213 1,864,495 Eider, spectacled Left 1 Right 0 1 115 Eider, Stellers Left 99 Right 686 785 90,275 Fulmar Left 12 Right 13 25 2,875 Goldeneye Left 3 Right 1 4 460 Guillemot Left 14 Right 3 17 1,955 232 Table 13. continued Number Observed Total Observed Total Observed Species (Seat location) in transect x conversion factor Gull Left 281 Right 195 476 54,740 Gull, glaucous Left 28 Right 1 29 3,335 Gull, glaucous-winged Left 214 Right 239 453 52,095 Gull, herring Left 1 Right 0 1 115 Gull, large Left 0 Right 1 1 115 Gull, mew Left 1 Right 0 1 115 Gull, Sabines Left 10 Right 0 10 1,150 Kittiwake Left 23 Right 14 37 4,255 Loon Left 0 Right 1 1 115 Merganser, red-brested Left 0 Right 1 1 115 Murre Left 4,509 Right 3,272 7,781 894,815 Murrelet Left 187 Right 1 188 21,620 Old Squaw Left 217 Right 293 510 58,650 Pintail Left 10 Right 10 20 2,300 Ptarmigan Left 3 Right 0 3*** -- 233 Table 13. continued Number Observed Total Observed Total Observed Species (Seat location) in transect x conversion factor Puffin Left 3 Right 0 3 345 Raven Left 1 Right 0 1*** Sandpipers Left 0 Right 50 50 5,750 Scoter Left 608 Right 995 1,603 184,345 Scoter, common Left 0 Right 10 10 1,150 Scoter, surf Left 0 Right 2 2 230 Scoter, whitewing Left 38 Right 225 263 30,245 Shorebirds Left 14 Right 153 167 19,205 Tern Left 3 Right 0 3 345 Category totals: S2ecies Loons 115 Tube-nosed swimmers 2,875 Cormorants 1,265 Geese/Swans 0 Ducks (81% King Eider) 2,307,130 Raptors 0 Shorebirds 24,955 Gulls, Kittiwakes, Terns, Jaegers 116,265 Alcids 1,021,085 Passerines,other Trace Unidentified birds 2,415 There were two observers on each side of the aircraft. Both observations on each side were taken into account in the results. Bristol Bay acreage 27,780,858 acres Conversion factor = 115 Transect acreage 242,393 acres Not expanded by conversion factor. 234 All Bir'ds Ice: No obserV- ations: + + .Avq. Density: 52,1 birds/ so. naiit...v1!i. Expanded population: 194341609 N t4 4Cj z Z- 43 + CO -a t3 4CP Note Trans ects follow LORAN fr.equencies and are spaced 10 nautical miles apart. Each whole s cqment is 10 nautical + miles lonq by 41/5 nautical milt wide (1/10th 1--ch side or aircr--ft) or [email protected], 2 squl-irk- na-itical mil.- -)/'--F/72 Figure 6. Per square mile densities of birds in Bristol Bay, May 1972. 235 GA*012?/SPECI,-7S: Loons Tce: -No obser ations: + + Ava. bensity: 0 .1 birds/si. naut. m Expanded population: 31452. + + + + + Note; Transects foliow,'LORAN frequ2ncies and are SD3ced 10 nautfcal miles -Part. Each whole sco-ment is 10 nautical + miles !on- by-V5 nautical mil+-, wide (1/10th c-',-ch side o- 0 aircraft) or covers 2 squore nautical miles. 5/@-88/72 Figure 6. continued. 236 GIZOUP/SPEC I ES Fulm,-,rs, Sbearw;Aters, Petrels, etc. Icer No observ- ations: I\M\ + Avg. bensity: 0.7 birds/so. naut. mi." [email protected],-oanded populstion: 192125 3 to S) + + + + + No t e Transects follow 1,01;LkN fr,.eq*u'encies and are spaced 10 nautical miles apart. Each whole segment is 10 nautical + miles long by 41/5 nautical* milia- wide (1/10th eInch side o Figure 6. continued. 237 GROUP/SPECIES: -cormorants Ice: No [email protected],- ations: Avg. Density: 0.3 birds/sq. naut. mi. Expanded population: 79891 + 4 + + + C,7 (3 CP 'Not e Transects follow LORAN freq uencies and are spaced 10 nauti'cal miles apar't. Ea*ch whole scar-ent is 10 nautical + miles Ion-, by 4115 nauticai'mi'lb [email protected] (1/10th citc1h side of aircraft)cor covers 2 square nautical miles. 5/3-8/72 Figure 6. continued. 238 GROUP/SPECIES: Gei-se/,-'w;@ns Ice: No [email protected],- at ions: @M\ A-vg. Dens ity: [email protected] birds/sq. naut. mi. Expanc*ed -populat ion X 1-,0 771 + + + + Note: Transects follow'L.0-RAN fre'q'u*encies and are spaced 10 nautical miles apart. Each whole scament is 10 nautical + miles long.by 4115 nautical'mili-- wide (1/10th &,-:.ch side of aircrift) or covers 2 squ3re na,_Itical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 239 G.ZOU?/SPSC I FS: Ducks tZ Ice No ob-zerv'- r( a t iors: \M A,@ cr Dens ity: 25.1 birds/sq. naut. mi. %3 t .:,xpanded DoDulation: 6911082.. + + Nj'ote Transects follow LOFUN freq*u'encies and are spaced 10 nauti'Cal miles z!par*t. Ea'ch whole segment is 10 nautical Figure 6. continued. 240 GROUP/SPECI ES ra 71S Ice: No ob-zarv- at ions: Av gr Dens ity: trace/sq. naut. mi. 7,x:-,an&;te- population: 219 + + + + 64 A Note: Transacts follow LOR-kN fr.equ*encies and are spac*ed 10 nautical miles apart. Each whole sedment is 10 nautical + miles long by /5 nautical' mili-- wide (1/10th c-,@ach s We 0f a;-rcraft) or covers 2 square nautical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 241 GAOL'PjSP---C I IES Ice: No ob-zerv- at ions: 7!7. Dens ity: trace/scl. naut. mi. Zxpaneed populaLioll: 936. + + 4 + <3 A Note: Transects foliow WR:-,N fr.equencies and are spaced 10 [email protected] naut'Ccal miles [email protected] Each whole [email protected] is 10 nautical C.. + + n, iles loncr by 41/5 nautical [email protected] wiele (1/10th [email protected] side of 0 aircraft) or covers 2 square nalitical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 242 G.101!pISp, :C I ;iS Gulls, Kittiwnkes,Tern Fz inegers Ice: No [email protected],- atiops: Avcr. Density: 12 .4 birds/sq. n-nut. mi. La ExT)---.-,6ed lpopulatibn: ,60"1036 C4 + + + + ti Note: Transects follow WRAS frequencies and are spaced 10 [email protected]<:2 nautfcal miles apa'r*t. Ea'ch whole scqrent is 10 nautical + miles lona by 41/5 nautical m;14-- wiO'- (1/10th L:@t-ch side of 0 aircr3Et) or covers 2 square na,itical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 243 G.1O1!P/SPSGI,ES: Alcids Ice: NO at ions: + + + Avg. Density: 10.9.birds/sq. naut. mi. C,xpanded population: 299fO98 + + + + Note: Transects follow LORAN fr.eiquencles and are spaced 10 nautical miles apart. Each whole' scgr.-,ent is 10 nautical + tailes long by 4115 nautical'm, 11-6- wide (1/10th :@@tch s We oc aircraft) or covers 2 square nautical 'miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 244 GROUPISPECIES: Passerines % Ice:. No ob---erV- at ions: + + Ave. Dens ity: tr:!ce/sq. naut. mi. xpa-nded Population:. 109 + + + + A Note Tr'ansects follow WPLkN Er.equ'en'cles and are spaced 10 nauti'cal miles apart. Each whold segment is 10 nautical C";. + miles lon- by A/5 nautical mil+-- wi(le (1/10th &,ch side of 0 aircraft) or covers 2 square nautical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figute 6. continued. 245 G;IOIIP/SP-.'Cl;-S: Uni6entified Birds Ice: -No observ- at ions: + + + Av-r. Dens ity: 6.2Xirds/sq. naut. u1i. Expanded PoDulation: 71069 T. + + + + <3 "5b Note:' Transects follow WIL-%N frequencies and*are spaced 10 al miles P-pa 't. C nautic r ach whole s2-ment is 10 nautical + miles lonq by -Pi/5 nautical milt wide (1/10Lh @tch side- oE aLrcr3ft) or covers 2 square nautical miles. 5/3-S/72 Figure 6. continued. 246 those calculated from the 1972 survey. For example, in 1973 two observers counted on each side of the aircraft versus one on each side in 1972. We believe the 1973 survey more accurately reflects bird populations in Bristol Bay during early spring. The 1973 calculation of 1,864,500 king eiders seems realistic after observing the tremendous concentrations of king eiders which sit in flocks of sometimes several square miles in size. For the 1973 survey, data as depicted in Figure 6 for the 1972 survey are not available. However, it can be assumed that general bird distributions were similar in 1973 to 1972, in relation to pack ice and the coastal areas. In 1973 average bird density was 125.9 birds per square nautical mile. These bird densities were from two to three times greater than those observed in 1972, and reflects a more realistic projection of bird numbers during late winter and early spring in Bristol Bay. During July 30-31, 1976 personnel from the Department of Fish and Game conducted an open water aerial survey from the west end of Unimak Island north along the Alaska Peninsula to Port Moller. Aerial tran- sects were flown from the coastline seaward to about the 80 meter depth contour. Figure 7 depicts the transect lines flown and area of coverage. The number of birds observed on five transects in the Port Moller area were significantly fewer than those observed on transects to the south. Therefore, data for these five transects were analyzed separately. In Table 14 the area sampled, the total size of the area for which bird populations are projected, and the average number of birds observed per transect for both the Port Moller area and Unimak-Izembek are presented. For the Port Moller area 148 birds per transect were observed while over 2,000 birds were observed per transect in the more southern area. In Table 15 densities of birds per kilometer squared by species and 247 Figure 7. Aerial transects for marine mamm @IZ1:rd survey, southern Bristol Bay,,July 30-31, 1976. 40 T C:I 90 0 w 0 to 'A %i [email protected] r .4 @I E R Z48 Table 14. Transect number and area, approximate area covered, and mean number of birds observed on a pelagic bird survey in the Unimak- Izembek and Port Moller regions of Bristol Bay, July 30-31, 1976. No. of Area of 2 Approx. area 2 x No. Birds Transects Transects-Km Surveyed-Km per Transect U-I 34 126.2 10,045 2160 PM 5 13.9 1,555 148 Total 39 140.1 11,600 1903 249 Table 15. Densities and expanded population size of sixteen species of birds observed on pelagic bird surveys in the Unimak-Izembek and Port 'Moller regions of Bristol Bay July 30-31, 1976. Part A 2 * Part B Density: Birds IL-n Expanded Population Size: Est. No. Birds,@ Species U-I PM Total U-I PM Total ShWa 554.6 24.6 502.1 5,570,957 38,253 5,824,360 Murr 13.4 12.8 13.4 134,603 19,904 155,440 Kitt 7.3 5.0 7.1 73,329 7,775 82,360 GWGu 3.6 5.3 3-*8 36,162 8,242 44,080 SmAl 1.5 0.2 1.4 15,068 311 16,240 Scot 0 5.0 0.5 0 7,775 5,800 Corm. 0.5 0 0.4 5,023 0 4,640 TuPu 0.3 0 0.2 3,014 0 2,320 Phal 0.2 0 0.2 2,009 0 2,320 Tern 0.2 0.5 0.2 2,009 778 2,320 SaGu 0.1 0 0.1 1,005 0 1,160 Jaeg Tr 0 Tr 1,193 0 1,379 GlGu Tr 0 Tr 1,193 0 1,379 Petr Tr 0 Tr 1,193 0 1,379 RTLo Tr 0 Tr 1,193 0 1,379 PaEi Tr 0 Tr 1,193 0 1,379 combined 581.9 53.4 3-2-9.5 5,845,185 83,037 6,142,200 Based on actual area and bird numbers observed. Based on approximate area covered by survey and the calculated densities of Part A. Species key: Shearwater Tern Murre Sabine gull Kittiwake Jaegar Glaucous-winged gull Glaucous gull Small Alcid Petrel Scoter Red-throated loon Cormorant Pacific Eider Tufted Puffin Phalarope 250 total expanded population size for each species are given. The most abundant birds were shearwaters, with a calculated population of over 5.75 million within the 11,600 square kilometer area. This figure seems realistic as the total-number of shearwaters in the northern hemisphere has been estimated at over 100 million birds. The total calculated population of all species within the survey area was 6,142,200 birds. All projected bird populations derived from pelagic aerial surveys must be considered minimal because of several factors. For safety reasons a twin engine aircraft is necessary to conduct surveys. Thus, the minimum safe flying speed when counting is usually over 100 knots. Even with two observers on either side of the aircraft birds are missed at this airspeed. Also, some species of birds - in particular small alcids -tend to dive at the approach of an aircraft. Many times all that an observer sees is an expanding ring of waves where an unknown bird or perhaps animal has just dove beneath the surface of the water. After prolonged periods of counting observers become fatigued and their efficiency at seeing birds decreases. Whenever possible observers are rotated and counting time is kept to a minimum. However, this is not always possible. Regardless, data from aerial and boat surveys are the best estimates of bird abundance and distribution within Bristol Bay. South Side of Alaska Peninsula Because this area is exposed to the open ocean and experiences extremely inclement weather conditions, few coastal bird surveys have been conducted either by aircraft or boat. Many of the bays (Figure 8) 251 w 0 Figtire 8. South side of Alaska Pei-)inSUla ScoLch Cal) to Cape Douglas. BERING SEA WIDE AMBER SAY cn KUJULIK BAY CHiGNIK SAY UIUKTA V. STEPOVAK BAY PAV LOF 0 BAY 0 -g- [email protected] 40 SHuMIGAN Is, C,;,v 0/ MILES Soo and estuaries are surrounded by steep mountains which create unpre- dictable and often treacherous wind currents, thus making air surveys difficult even on the best of days. Two aerial surveys were conducted by the Department of Fish and Game in late March of 1970 and mid-October of 1972. The results of these surveys are presented in Table 16. Only ducks and geese were recorded in both surveys. The bulk of ducks observed were various species of sea ducks including scoters, eiders, harlequin and old squaw. All of the geese observed were emperors. There are, however, a few Canada geese and possibly 2,000 brant wintering on Sanak Island. During the summer the south side of the Alaska Peninsula is not conducive to waterfowl and shorebird nesting or molting, but the top- ography does provide ideal nesting cliffs for sea birds. Known sea bird colonies are listed at the end of this report. The extent of use by other bird species using these coastal areas and the litoral zone is mostly unknown. During the winter, warm ocean currents keep this area relatively ice free, which results in substantial use by wintering birds. Data in Table 16 for the March 1970 survey substantiates this use. However, quantitative information on sea birds in near shore areas is not available, but numbers are probably substantial. Few estuaries are present on the south side of the Peninsula for use as resting and feeding areas for migrating birds. However, many of the birds observed during the mid-October survey (Table 16) were dab- blers indicating that some use is made of protected bays which are present in this area. Near the western end of the Alaska Peninsula a few large, shallow estuaries occur that are heavily used by migrating birds. These include Morzhovoi Bay and Kinzarof Lagoon. 253 Table 16. Ducks and geese found in bays of the south side of the Alaska Peninsula by aerial survey. Date of Survey Location 3/20-23/70 10/11-12/72 Puale Bay 685 Portage Bay 184 Wide Bay 462 631 -Agripina Bay area 465 200 Chiginagak Bay area 505 352 Yantarni Bay area 623 141 Amber Bay 465 240 Aniakchak Bay 1145 449 Cap-e Kumlik 198 Sutwik Island 263 Kujulik Bay 3915 391 Cape Kumlium 250 Hood Bay 20 Chignik Bay 430 35 Chignik Lagoon 1153 Castle Bay 95 287 Castle Cape to Seal Cape 65 Kuiukta Bay 5 Mitrofania, Bay & Island 38 Ivanoff Bay 65 1043 Stepovak Bay 42 862 Grub Gulch Bay 241 Clark Bay 104 Orzinski Bay -124 85 American Bay 62 Chichagof Bay 76 Dorenoi Bay 295 32 Balboa Bay 510 Beaver Bay 123 224 Shumagin Islands 4086 Canoe Bay 1362 Pavlof Bay 715 Pavlof Islands 1118 Deer Island 345 Sandman Reefs 412 Sanak Islands 2762 Cold Bay 462 3057 Morzhovoi Bay 2925 4439 Otter Cove 434 254 During October 1976 an aerial survey around the western end of the Alaska Peninsula was conducted. The results of this survey are pre- sented in Table 17. Aleutian Islands Until the early 1970's little quantitative information was avail- able regarding bird distribution in the Aleutian Islands. Surveys had been conducted, but primarily incidental to other data gathering oper- ations. With the ad-vent of outer continental shelf studies in late 1974, and an accellerated U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge pro- gram, an impressive volumn of data has been collected. However, most of this information has been gathered for the area of Unimak Island west through the Islands of the Four Mountains. Much data has recently been gathered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service which has placed station- ary observers on various islands. Unfortunately, at this time most of these data have not been analyzed. Data should be available in six months to one year. The largest waterfowl concentrations in the Aleutian chain occur during the winter months. Nearly all of the world's population of emperor geese - estimated at about 150,000 birds - spend the winter in the Aleutian Islands, on practically every island in the Chain. Large numbers of sea ducks and mergansers including scoters, eiders, old squaw, harlequins, and two species of mergansers are also present during winter months. Many of the rare Asiatic species which have been recorded in Alaska are commonly or occasionally found in the Aleutians. These include species such as the garganey, tufted duck, pochard, Chinese spot-bill duck, falcated teal and whooper swans. Also present in near 255 Tablel-7. Miscellaneous bird observations on habitat mapping flights on Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Shelf, October 1976. Alaska Peninsula October 16 Em Go Bl Br Ca Go Eide Scot Dabb Lari Shor Corm Murr ShWa Fulm Smt Bechevin Bay Hook Bay 117 2900 St. Catherine Cove 151 10 5175 3000 300 25 Hotsprings Bay 715 Traders Cove 515 825 125 Nichols Point 6000 75 Isanotski Straits 5500 Morzhovoi Bay 465 3125 1OK's Thinpoint Cove 35 Old Man's Lagoon 50 1250 Kinzarof Lagoon 595 2400 1400 Lenard Harbor 70 Belkofski Bay 2400 Bear Bay 55 Volcano Bay 230 Duschkin Bav 180 Long John Lagoon 95 150 Long Beach 65 Black Point 91 Chinaman Lagoon 65 50 Jackson Lagoon 270 55 350 Canoe Bay 306 Deer Island 106 Aleutian Islands October 25-27 Unimak 74 108 10 Ugamak 250 Round 20 Kaligagan 75 Tigalda 50 Avantanak 5 Akun 40 Akutan Pass Pres Pres Pres Pre Unalga 50 Egg 60 Unalaska 810 15 25 Umnak 936 238 26 1185 Pres Adugak 35 Samalga 695 350 Key to abbreviations: Em Go Emperor Goose Lari Larids SmAl Small alcids Bl Br Black Brant Shor Shorebirds 10 K's Tens of thousands Ca Go Canada Goose Corm Cormorants Pres Present Eide Eiders-mixed Murr Murres Scot Scoters-mixed ShWa Shearwaters Dabb Dabblers-mixed Fulm Fulmars 256 shore waters during winter months are tremendously large numbers of foraging sea birds which in the spring nest in the Chain or areas to the north. Unimak Pass is a well known migration corridor for literally tens of millions of sea birds. The bulk of the birds are shearwaters from the southern hemisphere which travel north through the pass in the spring and south through the pass in the fall. Unimak Pass is also apparently a major migration route for various species of marine mam- mals, especially whales. During September 1976 the Fish and Wildlife Service had an observer at Cape Sarachef on the western end of Unimak Island who watched Unimak Pass and recorded birds and animals in migra- tion. During some periods up to 70,000 shearwaters per hour passed at Sarachef, going south. In Table 17 the results of a bird survey around some of the eastern Aleutian Islands on October 25-27, 1976 are presented. The relatively small numbers of birds observed probably indicates that full migration was not yet in full swing. Resident bird populations in the Aleutian Islands have experienced some drastic changes in distribution, numbers and species composition since man first visited the islands. Some of the changes resulted from natural causes such as volcanic action, storms and tidal waves. However, the introduction of blue foxes to many of the islands virtually eliminated several breeding species. Rats from ship wrecks have been introduced on many of the islands which also resulted in a probable reduction some species. The Aleutian common teal apparently breeds and winters exclusively 00 in the Aleutian Chain. Conservative estimates place this population at 257 1,000 birds. For more coverage of the common teal and other species refer to Alaska's Wildlife and Habitat, 1973. Ae RARE AND ENDANGERED SPECIES Arctic peregrine falcons are classified rare and endangered by the federal government in the State of Alaska. However, Arctic peregrines are not known to nest in this region and probably only occasionally migrate through. The Peales peregrine falcon is the race which nests and is abundant in the Bristol Bay - Aleutain Islands region. The Aleutian Canada goose (Branta canadensis leucopareia) is classified rare and endangered by both the Federal Government and [email protected] state of Alaska. The Aleutian Canada is a subspecies of white-cheeked goose which breeds exclusively on Buldir Island in the western Aleutian Islands. Apparently all Aleutian Canadas have a white neck ring at the base of their black neck. The presence of this white ring on all Aleutian geese may be the single distinguishing characteristic between this subspecies, lesser Canada geese and cackling Canada geese. Aleutain Canada geese migrate from Buldir Island to central and southern California where they-overwinter. There have been no positive sightings of these geese between the eastern Aleutian Islands and Cre- sent City, California. Fall 1976 observations of Aleutian Canadas in the Aleutain Islands were made on Kiska and Unalga Islands and at Cape Sarachef on the western end of Unimak Island. Whether the geese con- tinue around the Gulf of Alaska or fly across the Gulf of Alaska is unknown. Also, spring migration northward may occur around the Gulf of Alaska, or possibly the birds take a transoceanic route and reach main- land somewhere between Cook Inlet and the Aleutian Chain. As more geese 258 are colored marked in future years and when radio transmitters are placed on the birds, a better picture of their migration routes and areas of use will develop. An Aleutain Canada Goose Recovery Team has been formed to recommend and implement procedures to delist the birds from Endangered to Threatened and eventually to a safe status. This team is comprised of personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the California Department of Fish and Game. The recovery team has written a recovery plan and parts of this plan have been imple- mented. The plan states that the Aleutian Canada goose can be delisted from Endangered to Threatened when an additional two Aleutian Islands have a population of at least 50 nesting pairs of Canada geese per island. When three such islands exist the subspecies will no longer be Threatened. New nesting populations will be established by the release of birds on islands scheduled for reintroduction. Birds will be raised in cap- tivity at the Patuxent Research Center in Maryland and on Amchitka Island where a goose holding facility has been constructed. A com- bination of goose release techniques and subsequent follow-up studies will be employed. Islands scheduled for reintroduction of geese include Agattu, Nizki-Alaid, Amchitka and Kanaga. Because introduced foxes were the original cause of decline of this subspecies, the elimation of foxes from islands scheduled for reintroduction is paramount. During the summer of 1976 foxes were completely elimated [email protected] Nizki-Alaid and reduced in numbers on Agattu to less than ten animals. Foxes were removed from these two islands by trapping and shooting. During the 259 1950's and early 1960's foxes were completely removed from Amchitka Island by poison. The recovery team has requested the use of poison on Agattu and on other islands, but as yet permission has not been received. Kanaga Island has a large population of foxes which must be removed if geese are to be reintroduced there. Without the use of poison this may be impossible. Eagles may be a problem to captive reared and released geese. There are no eagles on Agattu and Nizki-Alaid, but substantial eagle populations exist on Kanaga and Amchitka. Various release techniques and other measures will be employed to hopefully preclude the eagle problem. Canada goose hunting in the Aleutian Islands has been closed since 1973 to protect Aleutian geese. However, should these birds appear in other areas and a real or potentional danger of hunter harvest exists, the Canada goose season in those areas would probably have to be closed. For example, large areas of northwestern and north-central, and central California have been closed to Canada goose hunting. As major Aleutian Canada use areas are identified those areas will be considered for designation of critical habitat under federal law. However, before critical habitat designation is applied the area would have to have a demonstratable quality which makes it critical for the survival of geese. When an area is classified as critical habitat the so designated lands may be purchased, leased or otherwise controlled. On such lands it is against federal law to use federal funds for projects which will adversely effect the geese. Whether any project would adversely effect birds is determined by the director, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Such projects could include roads, airports, 260 dredge and fill, etc. There are a minimum of 1,275 Aleutian Canada geese. These birds were counted in north-central California during November 1976. It is certain that other use areas in Alaska besides the Aleutian Islands will be identified in the future. Considerable effort has been expended in the Cold Bay area trying to identify Aleutian Canada geese in the fall and spring, but to no avail. Aleutian Canadas probably do not use this area. The best guess is that birds utilize the coast or near shore islands off the coast along the south side of the Alaska Peninsula, probably both in the spring and fall. However, this is only specu- latation. LAND CLASSIFICATION Refuges There are a number of state and federal refuges in the Bristol Bay- Aleutian Islands which are for waterfowl and/or sea birds. By Alaska statue the federal refuges in this area are also state refuges. The areas with both state and federal refuge designation include: Semidi Islands, Simeonof Island, Bogoslof Island, all of the islands in the Aleutian Chain with the exception of the following seven islands - Akun, Akutan, Sanak, Tigalda, Umnak, Unalaska and Sedanka. Uplands in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge at the western end of the Alaska Peninsula are both state and federal refuge. In addition, the inter- tidal and submerged lands in Izembek Bay are classified state refuge, but not federal refuge. The state of Alaska has jurisdiction over most of the inter-tidal land in the state below mean high tide. The state of Alaska has also designated Walrus and Round Islands as state refuges - 261 these are not federal refuges. Sea birds are the primary species protected on the Semidis, Simeonof, Bogoslof and most of the Aleut ian Islands. On some of the Aleutian Islands significant populations of waterfowl also exist and Buldir Island is the home of Aleutian Canada geese. The tide lands of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and some of the surrounding uplands are crit- ical to the survival of several hundred thousands of ducks and geese. Although Walrus and Round Islands were designed refuge for walrus, large sea bird colonies are also present. Wilderness Areas Two of the federal refuges are in wilderness classification. These are Bogoslof Island and Simeonof Island. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed that part of Izembek National Refuge, nearly all of Unimak Island, are most of the Aleutian Island refuge be placed in wilderness designation. However, portions of several islands would be deleted for military, Native and other uses which preclude wilderness designation. Federal wilderness designation precludes nearly all human acitvities that would alter the land surface from its present pristine condition. Critical Habitats There are both state and federal legal classifications of critical habitat. There are five areas on the Alaska Peninsula which are class- ified as critical under state statute. These include the inter-tidal, submerged and near coastal uplands in the following areas: Port Heiden, Port Moller, Cinder River, Egegik Bay and Pilot Point. Although there 262 are currently no critical habitats so designated by federal law, the following areas have been recommended by the Aleutian Canada Goose Recovery Team for nomination: Buldir Island, Agattu Island, Nizki-Alaid Islands, Amchitka Island and Kanaga Island. Buldir Island, is, of course, the sole nesting area for the rare and endangered Aleutian Canada goose. The other islands are planned sites for reintroduction of Aleutian Canada geese. Unfortunately, few studies in Alaska have been made which identify percisely why an area is critical or very important for waterfowl or other birds. We can usually say that many birds occur where they do and generally why they occur there. The mere presence of large bird numbers dictates the area's importance to those birds.. Inter-tidal areas with broad mud flats and sedge-grass flats that flood at high tides are, taken as a whole, essential to the survival to many waterfowl, shore birds and indirectly to many sea birds in this region. A reasonable generalization is that the bigger such inter-tidal zones are, the greater their importance. A major reason for inter-tidal flat's importance is the quantity of food that is produced. For example, Izembek Lagoon has the largest eelgrass bed in the world and one expert on eelgrass believes that more nitrates and nitrites are produced in Izembek than the rest of Bristol Bay combined. Tidal action produces a constant interchange of nutrients and organic matter to produce varied plant and animal life in inter-tidal areas. Fresh water streams associated with these flats produce brackish water which is more productive than either salt or freshwater singularly. Varying tides create a ecotone or transition of plant and anixaal communities from mud (most frequently flooded), to grass-sedge, to finally upland heath (never flooded). The species of 263 plants and animals within the ecotone are often different and thus create diverse food sources for birds. Another critical function which inter-tidal areas fulfill is that they provide places for birds to use during spring and fall before and after inland nesting areas are ice and snow free. Because the nesting season in Alaska is short, it is imperative that waterfowl arrive on breeding grounds ready to nest as soon as conditions allow. If inter- tidal areas were not available, waterfowl and shorebirds would have to over-fly from their wintering grounds to their nesting areas. Likewise during the fall, inter-tidal areas serve as a safe resting and in some cases critical feeding area for the birds to gain strength and body fat for their long flight south after their inland nesting areas have become ice covered. There are eight areas in this region which are critical to the survival to large numbers of birds and in some cases species and sub- species of birds. These areas are: Buldir Island, Izembek Lagoon, Port Moller (includes Nelson Lagoon and Herendeen Bay), Ilnik Lagoon (also called Seal Island), Port Heiden, Cinder River, Pilot Point, and Egegik Bay. Buldir Island, as discussed previously, is critical to the survival of the rare and endangered Aleutian Canada goose. Izembek Lagoon, at the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, is vital to the welfare of the entire North American population of black brant which is over 95% of the world's population. Most brant arrive at Izembek by mid-September, but do not leave until early November or late October. During these weeks brant gain several pounds by eating eelgrass in the lagoon. If this eelgrass was not available, brant would be unable to 264 make the long transoceanic flight between Cold Bay and their wintering areas. Izembek also annually hosts about 100,000 lesser Canada geese during mid-September to late October. Almost all the emperor geese in the world travel through the Izembek area during the fall on their way to their Aleutian Island wintering areas. Total population size is perhaps 150,000, while peak numbers at Izembek may reach 75,000. Dabbling duck populations have been estimated up to one-quarter million birds, but most recently peak populations have been about 10,000 dabblers. An estimated 50,000 plus Steller's eiders annually undergo a mid-September feather molt in Izembek Lagoon. These birds are part of a large pop- ulation of Steller's eiders which molt each fall along the Alaska Peninsula and remain to overwinter wherever open water exists in Bristol Bay or the Gulf of Alaska. Most Steller's eiders originate from the Lena River area in Russia, about 127' E. latitude. In addition, Izembek annually hosts tens of thousands of shorebirds, gulls, and other species of birds. During the spring far fewer, but still significant numbers of birds utilize Izembek Lagoon and the other estuaries along the north side of the Alaska Peninsula for much shorter time periods. The largest numbers of emperor geese and Steller's eiders can be found in Port Moller during the fall. Canada geese are uncommon here during both spring and fall, while black brant are uncommon during the fall but fairly common during the spring for short time periods. Large numbers of sea ducks, dabblers, shorebirds, gull, and other bird species are found in Port Moller both in spring and fall. Although not designated as critical habitat by state statue, Ilnik Lagoon is critical habitat for large numbers of emperor geese,, dabblers, Steller's eiders and other sea ducks, shore birds, gulls and 265 other species of birds. Port Heiden is heavily used by various species of sea ducks and large numbers of cackling Canada geese. Large numbers of dabblers, shore birds, gulls, etc. also frequent the area both spring and fall. Pilot Point and the Cinder River Delta are the major cackling Canada goose areas in the fall. Snow geese from Russia's Wrangell Island use these areas extensively for short time periods during the fall. White- fronted geese from the Yukon Delta, on their way to California in the fall, may stop for a day or two, but in the spring are abundant in both of these areas. Many species of dabblers, sea ducks, diving ducks, shorebirds, gulls and whistling swans are also abundant both spring and fall. Egegik Bay hosts significant numbers of the same waterfowl species as are found in Pilot Point and Cinder River estuaries, except numbers both spring and fall are usually fewer. 266 SEABIRDS The most mumerous wildlife resource in the Alaska Peninsula-Aleutian Island-Bristol Bay area is pelagic birds. These areas serve as major breeding grounds for such species as black-legged kittiwakes, murres, crested, least, whiskered and parakeet auklets, fulmars, pelagic and red-faced cormorants, petrels, and horned and tufted puffins. Many of these birds once played an important part in the life of Aleuts, who ate their eggs and flesh and used their skins for clothing. The relationship of sea birds, especially murres, to the overall ecology of arctic seas is an important one. Seabirds provide a vital link in the ecology of the species which are their food. The birds excrement, rich in potash, is important to the growth and abundance of all marine organisms. In turn, these organisms provide food for small fish which are eaten by adult fish which in turn become seabird food. Itis said that seabird colonies could be fertilizing factories of the northern seas (Alaska Department of Fish and Game 1973). Pelagic bird nesting surveys have been conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recent years. Table 18 presents the results of these surveys. It is important to note that the enumerations are minimum figures and that the actual numbers are in all probability much greater. 267 0 0 0 Table 18. Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 35-E 329 31013 Unnamed Is. Horned Puffin 500 Tufted Puffin 6,000 330 31012 Nakchamik Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 34-E 331 30001 Chankliut Is. Cormorant 700 Black-Legged Kittiwake 500 Murre 3,000 32-E 332 28004 Falmouth Harbor Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,400 333 28003 Sea Lion Rocks Glaucous-Winged Gull 150 334 28008 Eagle Harbor Glaucous-Winged Gull 700 335 28023 Andronica Islet Glaucous-Winged Gull 600 CO 336 28024 Andronica. Spires Black-Legged Kittiwake 250 Horned Puffin 300 337 28021 Andronica West Bay Pigeon Guillemot 30 Horned Puffin 200 338 28022 Andronica East Bay Pigeon Guillemot 200 Horned Puffin 300 339 28025 Andronica Light Glaucous-Winged Gull 50 Tufted Puffin 6,000 340 28028 Dark Cliffs Cormorant 1,200 Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,400 341 28029 High Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,000 Horned Puffin 500 Tufted Puffin 6,000 continued Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 32-E 342 28034 Kordvin Bay Sea Birds Present 343 28040 Guillemot Is. Cormorant 300 Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 344 28035 Henderson Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 Pigeon Guillemot 20 Horned Puffin 200 Tufted Puffin 300 345 28033 Gull Is. Pigeon Guillemot 20 Horned Puffin 150 Tufted Puffin 300 346 28027 Round Is. Cormorant 80 Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,400 Black-Legged Kittiwake 9,000 Horned Puffin 4,000 Tufted Puffin 4,000 347 28026 Quartz Pt. Glaucous-Winged Gull 400 348 28030 Bay Pt. Red-Faced Cormorant 5,000 Black-Legged Kittiwake 13,000 Murre 6,000 Pigeon Guillemot 1,000 349 28010 Jude Island Pigeon Guillemot 3,000 350 28010 Kennedys Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,200 Pigeon Guillemot 50 Tufted Puffin 500 351 28017 Omega Is. Pigeon Guillemot 150 continued Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 32-E 352 28016 Egg Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 353 28014 Wosnesenski Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 1,200 Pigeon Guillemot 200 - Tufted Puffin 5,400 354 28009 Clay Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,000 Black-Legged Kittiwake 200 355 28011 The Pinnacle Red-Faced Cormorant 600 Tufted Puffin 1,000 356 28015 Ulkondi Is. Cormorant 60 Glaucous-Winged Gull 100 Tufted Puffin 500 357 28038 Round Is. Black-Legged Kittiwake, 1,500 C:) Pigeon'Guillemot 100 Tufted Puffin 400 358 28037 Ivan Is. Cormorant 600 Glaucous-Winged Gull 3,000 Pigeon Guillemot 300 Horned Puffin 300 Tufted Puffin 300 359 28026 Gull Is. Tufted Puffin 100 360 28032 Lump Is. Pigeon Guillemot 50 Tufted Puffin 250 361 28031 Flat Is. Tufted Puffin 200 362 28006 E. Dolgoi Entrance Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 Pigeon Guillemot 100 continued Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NANE SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 32-E 363 28007 Dolgoi Harbor Glaucous-Winged Gull 250 Pigeon Guillemot 100 Tufted Puffin 6,000 364 28005 Entrance Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 200 365 28001 Iliasik Is. Cormorant 1,100 366 28002 Iliasik Passage Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 33-E 367 27026 Seal Cape Cormorant 2,200 368 27025 Brothers Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 8,000 Murre 10,000 (off shore) Horned Puffin 1,500 Tufted Puffin 45,000 369 27024 Mitrofania Is. Cormorant 300 Claucous-Winged Gull 700 Pigeon Guillemot 4,000 Horned Puffin 35,000 Tufted Puffin 6,000 370 27021 Spitz Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,000 Black-Legged Kittiwak 18,000 Murre 200,000 Horned Puffin 1,500 Tufted Puffin 12,000 371 27023 Pinusik Is. Cormorant 50 Glaucous-Winged Gull 4,000 Black-Legged Kittiwake 500 Tufted Puffin 9,000 372 27022 Chaichi Bay Glaucous-Winged Gull 3,000 Tufted Puffin 13,000 continued Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 33-E 373 27019 Leader Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,200 Tufted Puffin 3,500 374 27018 Noon Pt. Glaucous-Winged Gull 100 Horned Puffin 100 Tufted Puffin 3,000 375 27020 Grub Gulch Is. Black-Legged Kittiwake Present 376 27017 Fox Cape Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,200 Tufted Puffin 4,000 377 27016 Kupreonof Pt. Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 Black-Legged Kittiwake 400 Horned Puffin 1,000 Tufted Puffin 3,500 378 27015 Bluff Pt. Cormorant 1,700 Tufted Puffin 3,000 379 27010 Nagai Island Sea Birds Present 380 27013 Cape Thompson Cormorant 600 Black-Legged Kittiwake 4,800 Horned Puffin 600 Tufted Puffin 1,200 381 27011 Koniuji Pt. Pigeon Guillemot 4,000 Parakeet Auklet 1,000 Tufted Puffin 2,000 382 27012 Peninsula Is. Pigeon Guillemot 2,500 Tufted Puffin 35,000 383 27008 Bendel Is. Cormorant 50 continued- 0 0 0 Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME, SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 33-E 384 27009 Bendel Ranch Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,500 385 27002 Unnamed Bay Unidentified Auklet Present 386 27001 South Big Koniuji Unidentified Puffin Present 387 27005 Koniuji Strait Pigeon Guillemot 3,000 Parakeet Auklet 10,000 Crested Auklet 50,000 Horned Puffin 140,000 388 27004 Hall Is. Cormorant 50 Glaucous-Winged Gull 400 Black-Legged Kittiwake 200 Pigeon Guillemot 1,500 Parakeet Auklet 4,000 Tufted Puffin 2,000 C.0 389 27003 Yukon Harbor Crested Auklet 10,000 390 27006 Heredeen Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 5,000 Parakeet Auklet 9,000 'Horned Puffin 500 Tufted Puffin 9,000 391 27007 Atkins Is. Pigeon Guillemot 2,500 Parakeet Auklet 5,000 Horned Puffin 500 Tufted Puffin 8,000 30-B 392 26006 Saddler Peak Horned Puffin 500 393 26003 West Saddler Cove Cormorant 200 Tufted Puffin 8,000 continued 0 0 0 Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 30-B 394 26004 Saddler's Mistake Claucous-Winged Gull 2,000 395 26002 Mountain Pt. Tufted Puffin 8,000 396 26005 East Saddler Cove Glaucous-Winged Gull 3,000 397 26007 Near Is. Cormorant 40 Glaucous-Winged Gull 2,500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 6,500 Murre 200 Horned Puffin 2,000 Tufted Puffin 18,000 398 26008 Twins Red-Faced Cormorant 2,000 Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 6,500 Murre 200 Horned Puffin 2,000 Tufted Puffin 18,000 399 26001 Bird Is. Cormorant 6,000 Black-Legged Kittiwake 43,000 Murre 24,000 29-D 400 25018 Hunter Is. Sea Birds Present 401 25019 Rona Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,500 Pigeon Guillemot 200 Horned Puffin 200 Tufted Puffin 6,000 402 25017 Sarana Is. Sea Birds Present 403 25012 Rose Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,000 404 25011 Sushilnoi Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 600 Tufted Puffin 7,000 continued 0 0 0 Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 29-D 405 25010 Buyan Rocks Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 Pigeon Guillemot 100 Horned Puffin 400 Tufted Puffin 4,000 406 25013 Patton Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 250 Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 Pigeon Guillemot 100 Horned Puffin 300 Tufted Puffin 2,000 407 25008 Midun Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 3,000 Murre 6,000 Horned Puffin 3,000 Tufted Puffin 12,000 408 25002 Island 83 Black-Legged Kittiwake 12,000 Murre 6,000 Horned Puffin 2,000 Tufted Puffin 10,000 409 25001 Island 38 Glaucous-Winged Gull 100 Pigeon Guillemot 50 Tufted Puffin 2,500 410 25006 Fawn Is. Pigeon Guillemot 150 Horned Puffin 300 Tufted Puffin 2.4500 411 25005 High Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 2,000 Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 Common Murre 300 Pigeon Guillemot 200 Horned Puffin 40,000 Tufted Puffin 20,000 continueT_ 0 0 Table 18. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - South Side Alaska Peninsula.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. 1JSFWS NO. NANE SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 29-D 412 25007 Let Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,000 Horned Puffin 3,000 Tufted Puffin 10,000 413 25009 Sozavereka Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 300 Pigeon Guillemot 400 Horned Puffin 10,000 Tufted Puffin 1,500 414 25020 Umga Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 80 Pigeon Guillemot 300 Horned Puffin 3,000 Tufted Puffin 22,000 415 25015 Egg Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,400 Horned Puffin 1,500 Tufted Puffin 3,000 416 25016 Kenmore Head Red-Faced Cormorant 1,000 417 25004 Sanken IS. Red-Faced Cormorant 600 Pigeon Guillemot 100 Horned Puffin 1,000 Tufted Puffin 7,000 418 25003 Palisade Cliff Red-Faced Cormorant 300 Glaucaus-Winged Gull 500 Lensink, C. J. and J. C. Bartonek. 1976. Prelimary catelog of seabird colonies and photographic mapping of sea bird colonies. Draft Annual Rpt. U.S.F.W.S. Anchorage, Alaska 138 pp. 0 0 0 Table 19. Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 28-D 419 24004 Unimak Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 50 420 24002 Avatanak Is. Tufted Puffin 50,000 421 24003 Akun Is. Sea Birds Present 422 24001 Rootok Is. Tufted Puffin 100,000 423 24005 Unimak Is. Red-Faced Cormorant 200 424 24006 Sea Lion Pt. Red-Faced Cormorant 800 425 24007 Cave Pt. Red-Faced Cormorant 1,000 426 24008 Cape Mordvinof Red-Faced Cormorant Present Black-Legged Kittiwake Present Horned Puffin Present Tufted Puffin Present 32-E 427 28041 Nelson Lagoon Mew Gull 150 428 28042 Cannery Is. Arctic Tern 500 429 28043 Lagoon Pt. Arctic Tern 500 430 28044 Kudobin Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 3,900 Tufted Puffin 15 431 28045 Gull Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 50 Black-Legged Kittiwake 25 Pigeon Guillemot 15 Horned Puffin 18 Tufted Puffin 25 continued 0 0 0 Table 19. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 432 28046 Entrance Pt. Arctic Tern 200 Aleutian Tern 500 433 28047 Egg Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 25 31-D 434 29001 North Isanotski Is. Aleutian Tern Present 435 29003 Sea Lion Rock (S.E.) Cormorant Present Black-Legged Kittiwake Present Murre Present Horned Puffin Present Tufted Puffin Present 436 29004 Sea Lion Rock (N.W.) Cormorant Present Black-Legged Kittiwake Present Murre Present Horned Puffin Present CO Tufted Puffin Present 437 29005 Is. in Izembek Lagoon Aleutian Tern Present 34-E 438 30002 Cape Seniavin Cormorant 1,500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 3,500 Common Murre 500 439 30003 N.E. from Cape Cormorant 100 Seniavin Black-Legged Kittiwake 100 Common Murre 100 440 30004 Seal Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,500 continued 0 0 0 Table 19. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING M&P NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 441 30005 Crescent-Shaped Is. Cormorant 6 Glaucous-Winged Gull Present Common Eider Present 442 30006 Chistiakof Is. Cormorant 50 Glaucous-Winged Gull 5,000 Common Eider Present 43-D 443 39001 Pinnacle Rock Cormorant Present 444 39002 Castle Rock Cormorant 120 Horned Puffin 200 445 39003 Cliff E. of Bird Cormorant 110 Rock Tufted Puffin 10 446 39004 Bird Rock Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 10,000 Murre 200,000 Tufted Puffin 5,000 447 39005 Cape Newenham Cormorant 110 Glaucous-Winged Gull Present Black-Legged Kittiwake 17,400 Murre 30,300 Horned Puffin 222 448 39007 oracle Mt. Cliffs Cormorant 180 Black-Legged Kittiwake 6,350 Murre 15,300 449 39008 Gap Mt. Cliffs Cormorant 70 Black-Legged Kittiwake 5,500 Murre 10,000 continued 0 0 0 Table 19. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 450 39009 Tokomanak Mt. Cliffs Cormorant 220 Black-Legged Kittiwake 8,210 Murre 12,010 451 39010 Cape Pierce Cormorant 453 Glaucous-Winged Gull 10 Black-Legged Kittiwake 26,535 Murre 35,320 Pigeon Guillemot 100 Parakeet Auklet 120 Horned Puffin 262 Tufted Puffin 61 452 39011 Shaiak Is. Cormorant 276 DBL-Crested Cormorant Present [email protected] Pelagic Cormorant Present 00 Glaucous-Winged Gull 4,150 C:) Black-Legged Kittiwake 14,320 Murre 53,800 Pigeon Guillemot 190 Parakeet Auklet 230 Horned Puffin 50 Tufted Puffin 8,500 Common Eider 200 453 39013 S.W. Hagemeister Black-Legged Kittiwake 750 Murre 1,000 454 39016 Cliff "Hill 825" Cormorant 300 455 39017 E. Hagemeister Is. Cormorant 100 456 39018 Offshore Rock - Cormorant 30 Hagemeister Glaucous-Winged Gull 20 continued 0 0 0 Table 19. Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 457 39020 Aeolus Mt. Cliff S. Cormorant 200 Black-Legged Kittiwake 300 458 39021 Aeolus Mt. Cliff N. Cormorant 500 Black-Legged Kittiwake 1,000 459 39022 Cliff "Hill 365" Cormorant 250 Glaucous-Winged Cull 20 460 39023 Offshore Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 100 461 39024 High Is. S. End Cormorant 472 Glaucous-Winged Gull 50 Black-Legged Kittiwake 42,400 Common Murre 17,800 co Pigeon Guillemot 2 462 39025 The Twins (Little) Cormorant 200 Black-Legged Kittiwake 50,000 Murre 200,000 463 39026 The Twins (Big) Cormorant 1,100 Glaucous-Winged Gull 450 Black-Legged Kittiwake 8,000 Murre 521,000 Tufted Puffin 4,100 464 39027 Black Rock Common Murre 10,000 465 39030 Cliff 1.5 Mi. S.E. Pelagic Cormorant 100 Nunavachak L. 466 39031 Cliff 2.5 Mi. S.E. Pelagic Cormorant 100 Nunavachak L. continued Table 19. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Bristol Bay.* NESTING MAP NO. COLONY NO. USFWS NO. NANE SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE PAIRS 44-D 467 40001 Round Is. Cormorant 2,350 Glaucous-Winged Gull 43 Black-Legged Kittiwake 49,170 Murre 72,030 Pigeon Guillemot 44 Parakeet Auklet 534 Least Auklet 1,150 Whiskered Auklet 536 468 40005 Rock in Kulukak Bay Comorant 200 469 40006 Offshore Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 200 470 40007 Offshore DBL-Crested Cormorant 50 co 471 40008 Kulukak Pt. Cormorant 300 472 40009 Promontory "Hill 835" Cormorant 100 473 40010 Unnamed Lake, Cormorant 1 Nushagak Pt. Glaucous-Winged Gull 75 474 40011 Kikertalik L. DBL-Crested Cormorant 800 Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,000 475 40012 Lake "57" DBL-Crested Cormorant 100 Lensink, C. J. et. al. 1976. Preliminary catalog of sea bird colonies and photographic mapping of sea bird colonies. Draft Quarterly Rpt. U.S.F.W.S., Anchorage, Alaska. 0 0 0 Table 20. Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands. MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 17-B 476 Cape Wrangell Pelagic Cormorant 13,200 Murre 15,000 477 Cape Wrangell Murre 1,500 Kresta Pt. Kittiwake 3,000 Cormorant 13,400 478 Earle Cove Cormorant 2,600 479 Kresta Pt. Kittiwake 1,000 Goltsov Pt. Cormorant 6,400 Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 480 Goltsov Pt. Kittiwake 700 Chichagof Pt. Tufted Puffin 500 Cormorant 8,000 Gull 500 00 481 Cooper Is. Cormorant 1,500 Gull 500 Horned Puffin 1,000 482 Gibson Is. Cormorant 3,000 Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,000 Tufted Puffin 5,000 483 Khlebnikof Pt. Cormorant 4,200 Horned Puffin 2,000 484 Hodikof Pt. - Cormorant 1,000 Buchanan Pt. Red-Faced Cormorant 1,000 485 Hoppe Is. Cormorant 6,400 Kittiwake 1,000 continued 0 0 0 Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 486 Chirikof Pt. Cormorant 2,000 Horned Puffin 2,500 Tufted Puffin 2,500 Kittiwake 1,000 487 McCloud Head Cormorant 6,000 Kittiwake 500 488 McCloud Head S.W. Red-Faced Cormorant 500 Horned Puffin 2,000 489 Savage Is. E. Tufted Puffin 5,000 Cormorant 1,000 490 Savage Is. W. Horned Puffin 1,000 Murre 800 Cormorant 2,000 00 Glaucous-Winged Gull 400 491 West Arm Cormorant 600 492 Chuniksak Pt. Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 493 Abraham Bay Cormorant 1,000 494 Etienne Head Pelagic Cormorant 2,300 Tufted Puffin 1,600 Horned Puffin 1,000 Glaucous-Winged Gull 700 Kittiwake 500 Murre 1,000 495 Alaid Head Glaucous-Winged Gull 200 Cormorant 5,600 Tufted Puffin 800 continued 0 'o 0 Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies Aleutian Islands. MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 496 Alaid is. Kittiwake 1,000 497 Hammerhead Is. Coriporant 6,200 498 Shemya Is. Pelagic Cormorant 1,000 Tufted Puffin 500 499 McDonald Pt. - Tufted Puffin 4,200 Aga Cove Horned Puffin 1,400 Cormorant 5,100 Kittiwake 5,000 Murre 1,000 500 Aga Cove S. Tufted Puffin 900 Cormorant 1,100 Murre 500 00 501 Cape Sabak Kittiwake 4,000 Murre 5,000 502 Jewel Murre 1,000 Tufted Puffin 2,200 503 Karab Cove E. Murre 3,000 504 Karab Cove W. Kittiwake 6,000 Murre 7,600 505 Otkriti Bay Murre 3,300 506 2.5 Mi. E. Nile Pt. Tufted Puffin 4,000 Horned Puffin 800 507 Gillon Pt. Cormorant 600 508 Gillon Pt. N. Cormorant 800 continued Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies Aleutian Islands.# MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 509 W. Cove S. Cormorant 600 510 Ameria. Bay Tufted Puffin 500 18-B 511 Buldir W. Is. Black-Legged Kittiwake 5,000 Murre 15,000 512 Northwest Pt. Auklet 22,000 513 Buldir N. Shore Glaucous-Winged Gull 5,000 Least Auklet 18,000 514 East Cape N. Red-Legged Kittiwake 15,000 515 East Cape S. Thick-Billed Murre 15,000 516 Sirius Pt. W. Tufted Puffin 1,000 co 517 Sirius Pt. Least Auklet 125,000 19-B 518 Segula Is. Least Auklet 65,000 Crested Auklet 5,000 519 Khvostof Is. W. Tufted Puffin 2,500 520 Khvostof Is. N. Tufted Puffin 2,500 521 Khvostof Is. E. Tufted Puffin 900 522 Khvostof Is. s. Tufted Puffin 640 523 Pyramid Is. Tufted Puffin 1,500 524 Davidof Is. S. Tufted Puffin 1,840 continued 0 0 0 Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands. MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 525 Is. No. of Davidof Tufted Puffin 700 Is. 526 Davidof Is. N. Tufted Puffin 1,200 527 Davidof Is. E. Tufted Puffin 1,600 528 N. E. Pt. - Cormorant 700 Semisopochnoi Is. 529 Pochnoi Pt. Common Murre 500 530 Sugarloaf Head Tufted Puffin 200 Common Murre 100 531 Semisopochnoi Is. Tufted Puffin 1,200 00 S.W. Common Murre 100 532 Semisopochnoi Is. W. Tufted Puffin 800 20-B 533 Gareloi Is. N.W. Cormorant 1,900 Horned Puffin 2,200 Tufted Puffin 3,000 534 Gareloi Is. N.E. Tufted Puffin 2,800 Horned Puffin 2,400 Cormorant 1,250 535 Gareloi Is. N.E. Auklet 22,000 536 Gareloi Is. S.E. Auklet 45,000 537 Gareloi Is. S. Black-Legged Kittiwake 1,500 Murre 700 538 Gareloi Is. S. W. Fulmar 2,600 continued 0 0 Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 539 Gareloi is. S. W. Fulmar 600 540 Unalga is. Tufted Puffin 2,200 Crested Auklet 150,000 Parakeet Auklet 500 541 Tag Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 1,500 542 Ulak Is. N. W. Tufted Puffin 675 Cormorant 300 543 Pratt Cove Tufted Puffin 500 Horned Puffin 500 544 Tanadak is. Glaucous-Winged Gull Soo 545 Ulak S. Tufted Puffin 2,500 00 00 Horned Puffin 500 546 Ulak S. Horned Puffin 500 Tufted Puffin 1,500 547 Amatignak Horned Puffin 500 21-B 548 Bumpy Pt. Tufted Puffin 850 549 Gusty Bay Tufted Puffin 1,300 550 Pt. Aries-Cape Sudak Tufted Puffin 550 551 Bobrof Is. S. Tufted Puffin 3,000 Horned Puffin 3,000 552 Redan Pt. Tufted Puffin 3,500 continued Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 553 Bobrof Is. N. E. Horned Puffin 300 554 Bobrof Is. E. Tufted Puffin 1,000 Horned Puffin 1,000 555 Cape Tusik Tufted Puffin 800 Common Murre 300 556 Cape Yakak Tufted Puffin 500 557 Turrent Pt. Pelagic Cormorant 800 Red-Faced Cormorant 300 558 Is. S. W. of Crone Red-Faced Cormorant 900 Is. 559 S. End Crone Is. Tufted Puffin 1,810 00 Horned Puffin 700 5.60 Islet S. E. of Glaucous-Winged Gull 500 Crone Is. 561 Is. N. of Elf Is. Pelagic Cormorant 750 562 Is. in Boot Bay Tufted Puffin 1,500 Horned Puffin 700 Pigeon Guillemot 500 563 Islet E. of Boot Pt. Pigeon Guillemot 700 564 Head Rock Cormorant 300 -565 Azamis Cove Cormorant 300 566 Great Sitkin Is. Cormorant 3,000 continued Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutian Islands.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 22-B 567 Cape Ruth-Moss Pt. Cormorant 300 [email protected] Anagaksik Is. Puffin 6,400 Pigeon Guillemot 4,200 569 Ulak Is. Parakeet Auklet 3,000 Common Murre 1,000 Tufted Puffin 20,000 Red-Faced Cormorant 800 570 Oglodak Is. Auklet 50,000 571 Kasatochi Is. Auklet 22,000 572 Koniuji Is. kuklet 5,000 Kittiwake 10,000 Murre 5,500 CO CD 573 Cape Tadluk Cormorant 500 574 Sadatanak Is. Tufted Puffin 500 23-B 575 Tanadak Is. Glaucous-Winged Gull 700 576 Moundhill Pt. Cormorant 600 24-B 577 Chagulak Is. Parakeet Auklet 11,400 Whiskered Auklet 700 Fulmar 450,000 Black-Legged Kittiwake, 28,500 Glaucous-Winged Gull 3,500 Tufted Puffin 12,000 Murre 111,500 Red-Faced Cormorant 110600 continued Table 20. (continued) Known Sea Bird Colonies - Aleutain Islands.* MAP NO. COLONY NO. NAME SPECIES COLONY ESTIMATE 578 Yunaska Is. W. Whiskered Auklet 2,000 579 Yunaska. Is. Bold Red-Faced Cormorant 500 580 Yunaska Is. Knob Tufted Puffin 2,000 Horned Puffin 1,000 581 Herbert Is. S. E. Puffin 1P600 582 Herbert Is. N. E. Whiskered Auklet 500 583 Carlisle Is. N. Tufted Puffin 300 25-B 584 South Cove Tufted Puffin 300 585 Concord Pt. Red-Faced Cormorant 500 CO 586 Applegate Cove Tufted Puffin 200 587 Chuginadak Is. N. Tufted Puffin 300 588 Kagamil Is. S. W. Murre 285,000 589 Kagamil Is. W. Red-Faced Cormorant 1,000 Tufted Puffin 1,000 26-B 590 Uliaga Is. S. Tufted Puffin 6,000 Horned Puffin 4,000 591 Uliaga Is. E. Puffin 10,000 Sekora, P. 1973. Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness Study Report. Preliminary Draft. 409 pp. 0 APPENDIX A Life Histories 0 292 MOOSE The moose (Alces alces) is the largest member of the deer family in the world; and the Alaska form (Alces alces giaas is the largest of all subspecies. Adult males in prime condition that have been weighed indicate that 1,000-1,6000 pounds is the usual range; females weigh 800-1,200 pounds. Only bulls have antlers. The largest moose antlers in North America come from Alaska. In Alaska, trophy class bulls are found throughout the state, but the largest come from the Alaska Peninsula, lower Sisitna Valley and Kenai Peninsula. Moose produce trophy-size antlers when they are six or seven years old and may continue to produce large antlers until they are 13 or 14. In the wild, moose may live more than 20 years. Moose are long legged, short bodied, have a drooping nose, a "bell" or dewlap under the chin, and no app4rent tail. They are colored a variety of brindle browns, shading from pale yellow to almost black, depending upon the season and the age of the animal. The hair of newborn calves is generally an orange-brown that fades to a lighter rust color within a few weeks. Newborn calves weigh 28-35 pounds and grow to over 300 pounds within five months. Moose have adapted well to man's incursions and where they have been given protection from'excessive exploitation, they and man have coexisted in close association. In Alaska, they occur in suitable habitat from the Stikine River in the Panhandle to the Colville River on the Arctic Slope. Moose are most abundant in second growth birch forests, timberline plateaus and along the major rivers of southcentral and interior Alaska. 293 Moose are generally sedentary animals, but seasonal movements associated with breeding, partutition and treks to favored forage areas may cover 20-40 miles. A tagged moose is known to have moved 60 miles. In mountainous areas, bulls spend most of the summer and early fall at or above timberline,, while cows with calves prefer more dense cover at lower elevations. Cows move toward timberline during the rut and the bulls meet them about halfway. The sexes separate after the breeding season; and groups of 10-20 bulls at or above timberline are common. Both sexes are sexually mature at 16 months on the best ranges. Breeding begins in late August when the larger bulls shed their antler velvet and begin pre-rut behavior. This includes antler polishing, a cessation of feeding activities, jousting with similar-sized males, calling and seeking receptive females. Males exhaust the entire reserve of fat accumulated during the summer months during the rut. This may include 20-25% of their total weight, and they enter the winter exhausted. Most breeding takes place from September 15 to October 10, with most females conceiving during the first estrus cycle. Calves are born in late May and early June after a gestation period of approximately 240 days. About 90% of the females over two years old breed every year. Cows generally produce a single calf the first time they breed, but thereafter up to 60% produce twins depending upon the quality and quantity of available food. Triplets occur rarely, perhaps once every 1,200-2,000 births. Most calves are born in swampy muskeg areas. A cow moose will defend her newborn calf vigorously. The reddish-brown calves weigh 25-35 pounds at birth. Thereafter, they grow at a fast rate, reaching 300-400 pounds four months later. A little milk plus vast quantities of willow leaves, sedges, pond weeds and a sampling of most everything green except spruce trees produces 294 animal tissue at a prodigious rate. Calves are weaned in the following fall about the time the mother reenters estrous. Newborn calves may represent 40-50 percent of a moose population in the spring, but mortality is great, and by November their number often has been reduced by half. Many calves die during the six weeks following birth. Mortality factors include predators, malnutrition and abandonment. Unlike species dependent upon pristine wilderness or climax vege- tation, moose are adaptable to many situations. They thrive on tran- sitional vegetation such as that which follows forest fires, clear-cut logging operations, land clearing for agricultural purposes, highway right-of-way clearing, receding glaciers and braided river beds. Their annual habitat requirements are broad but include the following: breeding grounds, winter feeding areas, [email protected] grounds and summer feeding areas. During fall and winter, moose consume great quantities of willow, birch and aspen. They may establish a hedge or browse line six to eight feet above the ground by clipping all the terminal shoots of favored food species. When food supplies become critical, moose may eat food that have little nutritional value. The young terminal tips and bud ends and leaves contain most of the nutrients. But when shortages exist, moose will consume the older two-year growth. Occasionally, they will even resort to feedi.ng on some three-year old growth. Since there is little food value in this material, the survival chances of the animals may be lowered. Spring is the time for grazing, and moose utilize a variety of foodstuffs, particularly sedges, equisetum (horsetail), pond weeds and grasses. In some areas they feed on vegetation in shallow ponds all summer; in other situations forbs, and leaves or birch, willow, alder and aspen are the main summer diet. 295 Wolves may take a considerable number of calf moose in late May and June. Since there is total overlap of the distribution of wolves and moose, wolves must be considered major users of the moose resource. Black bears and brown bears both eat moose calves but their impact upon populations has never been thoroughly evaluated. The winter period is crucial not only to the survival of adults and young of the year, but also to the survival of the following year's calves through abortion of fetus or resorption by the cow. Winter food shortages result in malnutrition and may cause losses to the population. .Some losses may not be directly caused by the malnutrition but result from diseases or parasites that attack undernourished moose. Internal parasites that affect moose include liver flukes, tape- worms and other roundworms, stomach flukes and lungworms. The winter or moose tick, is the only external parasite that is a serious health hazard to moose. Other diseases reported in moose include blindness, Bang's disease, tuberculosis, arthritis and necrotic stomatitis. Automobile collisions kill some moose, especially in winter when moose refuse to leave the easy travelled route of a snow-plowed highway. Moose also prefer to move along plowed railroad right-of-ways rather than flounder through deep snowdrifts. During winters with exceptionally deep snow, as many as 200 moose have been killed by the Alaska Railroad. Moose may move into residential areas and occupy yards, gardens and similar sheltered areas during severe winters. They often become such nuisances that they have to be destroyed. 296 CARIBOU The barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus is generally associated with the arctic tundra, mountain tundra and northern forests of North America, Russia and Scandinavia. This species has been a distinctive part of the Alaskan fauna for thousands of years and is resident throughout the state except for the Southeastern Panhandle and most offshore islands. Caribou are large, rather stout deer with large, concave hooves that spread widely to support the animal in snow and soft tundra and function well as paddles when it swims. Caribou are the only members of the deer family in which both sexes grow antlers. Antlers of adult bulls are large and massive; those of adult cows are much shorter and are usually more slender and irregular. In late fall caribou are clove- brown in color with a white neck, rump and feet, and often a white flank stripe. The hair of newborn calves is generally reddish-brown, but may range from pale beige to dark brown. Newborn calves weigh approximately 13 pounds and may double their weight in 10-15 days. Adult bulls weigh 350-400 pounds; however, weights of 700 pounds have been recorded in the Aleutian Islands. Mature females average 175-225 pounds. The shedding of velvet in late August and early September by large bulls marks the approach of the rutting season. The bulls cease feeding and show increasing aggressiveness that soon results in combat. Fights between bulls are seldom violent and injuries are uncommon. The peak of the breeding period in Alaska varies somewhat between herds, but most occur in October. Most yearlings are capable of breeding, but the first breeding usually occurs at an age of 28-29 months. By late October adult males have exhausted their summer accumulation of fat and once 297 again begin feeding. Bulls start to shed their antlers after the rut and most adult males are "bald" by January. Pregnant cows and young animals retain their antlers until May or June, but non-pregnant females usually shed their antlers in April. As the spring migration begins, females and many calves of the previous year congregate as they move to the calving area. In late May or early June a single calf is born. Newborn calves can walk within an hour and after a few days can outrun a man and swim across lakes and rivers. Like most herd animals, the caribou must keep moving to find adequate food. This distributes feeding pressure and tends to prevent overgrazing. Caribou are not as likely to starve to death as moose or deer because if food is not available in one area, they move to another. In summer, caribou eat a wide variety of plants, apparently favoring the leaves of willow and dwarf birch, grasses, sedges and succulent plants. As autumn frost kills off plants and foliage, they switch to lichens ("reindeer moss") and dried sedges. After a winter of lichens and dried food, caribou seek out the first new growth of spring. The Alaskan caribou is largely a mountain animal, associated with areas above or near timberline, but its movements are extensive and unpredictable. Areas known for many years to have great numbers may suddenly be abandoned as the herd changes migration pattern. Such irregularities even today cause privation among the native people in Alaska and Canada who depend upon caribou for food. Annual caribou migrations are generally directional, long-distance treks occurring in spring and early summer as cows and young move to traditional calving grounds and then to summering areas. The bulls and some young animals follow far to the rear and scatter widely during 298 the summer. In the fall and early winter, the herd assembles for the rut and then moves to wintering grounds. There are more than 600,000 wild caribou in Alaska distributed in 13 more or less distinct herds. At present, most of the herds are healthy, but the future can only bring a decrease in numbers. As civilization encroaches and the back country is developed, more and more valuable caribou habitat will be lost. 299 DALL SHEEP The Dall Sheep (Ovis dalli) is the northernmost species of wild sheep in North America. The most striking physical characteristic of the Dall sheep is its white coat. In Alaska, a few sheep have dark tails or a sprinkling of dark hairs on other parts of their bodies, but most are entirely white. The white coat may vary in appearance from [email protected] through yellowish to brown, depending upon dirt and staining. The hairs are brittle and hollow and the coat may be thicker than three inches during winter, forming an excellent insulating barrier against the cold. Mature rams weigh 150 to 160 pounds, with some individuals exceeding 200 pounds. Ewes average about 110 pounds and occasionally reach 130 pounds. Rams are about 35 inches tall at the shoulder and ewes about 30 inches. Older Dall sheep rams have massive curling horns while ewes and young rams have short, slender, slightly curled horns. These horns, like claws, hooves, and finger nails, grow from the skin and are composed of a material called keratin, quite different from the bony antlers of deerlike animals. Horns continue to grown throughout the life of the animal unlike antlers which are shed and regrown annually. During spring, summer and early fall when food is available and nutritious, horns grow regularly. In late fall and winter, however, horn growth is retarded, probably becuase of changes in body chemistry during the rut and the winter scarcity of food, a factor which causes the sheep to utilize stored body fat. This periodic arresting of the regular growth rate results in a pattern of "annual rings" which appear as slightly deeper constrictions among the corrugations which encircle the horn. 300 As rams mature, their horns grow in an ever-increasing curl, reaching a 3/4 curl in four to five years and a "full curl" or more in seven to eleven years. Dall sheep inhabit parts of all major mountain ranges in Alaska, including the Kenai, Chugach, Wrangell, Talkeetna, Alaska and Brooks Ranges as well as the White Mountains and Tanana Hills. Their range in Alaska extends from about 60 degrees north latitude in the southern Kenai Mountains to almost 70 degrees in the Sadlerochit Mountains north of the Brooks Range, and from the DeLong Mountains in the western Brooks Range to the Canadian border. They are also found in the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada. Dall sheep are almost exclusively limited to the alpine zone, although they may range into the lower brush and timber zones locally or seasonally. Since the alpine is a relatively stable climax vegetational zone, sheep distribution is also relatively stable. Within the general alpine zone, sheep have specific requirements for suitable escape terrain adequately dispersed throughout feeding areas. Cliffs and rugged rock outcrops are necessary sanctuaries from predators, and sheep are rarely found in otherwise suitable habitat where such terrain cannot be easily reached. Rams segregate themselves from the ewes and lambs during late spring and summer, although both sexes may be using the same slopes. Ram groups often seek higher and more rugged terrain as the summer progresses possibly to escape insects or to seek newly-emergent vegetation. By October, both sexes begin to congregate on winter range. This may be a rugged slope where a particularly good southern exposure assures snow-free conditions, or a series of high, exposed ridges where winter winds remove snow. 301 Breeding begins in late November and continues through mid-December. Rams do not gather harems, but circulate freely between groups of females, seeking ewes in estrus. Most fighting between rams takes place prior to the rut and appears to help equal-sized rams determine social dominance. Dominance between unequal rams is generally established by horn display rather than by fighting. Ritualized horn clashing is not, as many believe, over the possession of ewes during the breeding season, although some slashing and shoving does occur during chases of estrus females. Some females are sexually mature at 18 months, but most mature at 30 months and breed annually thereafter. Even very old ewes, 13 to 15 years old, continue to breed. Dall sheep have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Lambing occurs from mid-May through mid-June after a gestation period of about 175 to 180 days. Ewes ordinarily have a single lamb, but twins or triplets will occasionally occur. The female selects the privacy of the most inaccessible crags to give birth. Lambs weigh five to six pounds at birth and reach 60 to 70 pounds by their first year. The survival of lambs is variable, but generally low. Lambs are precocious offspring and begin feeding on vegetation within a few days after birth. By mid-August the young are quite independent, but will remain with the ewe until the following spring. Sheep feed primarily on grasses, leafy ground plants, mosses, and lichens found on alpine slopes and ridges. Some browsing of willow occurs during the winter. They can generally dig down through snow for food, but exceptionally deep snow or icing conditions which prevent them from reaching food can cause starvation. As winter progresses, deep or wind-crusted snow restricts movements 302 and feeding to small portions of the normal range. Thus, winter range may be merely a series of high ridge tops only a few yards in width by a few hundred yards in length, with the remaiing forage covered by concrete hard, wind-packed snow and ice. In extreme winters it may consist of perhaps only the one slope in the herd's entire range, which receives adequate winter sun and wind to keep forage exposed. The most important habitat requirement seems to be acceptable winter climate. Sheep depend upon cold temperatures, wind and moderate snowfall in order to survive the winter. Continued cold keeps the snow light and powdery, while high winds remove it from alpine ridges, exposing the low winter forage. Warm, wet snows that do not blow away will prevent sheep from reaching winter feed. Winter climate must also be consistent within tolerable bounds. If only one winter out of ten, for example, produces a sufficiently heavy wet snow to cover all forage for more than a short time, this could prevent the establishment and survival of a sheep herd in an otherwise suitable area. Thus, Dall sheep may occur on one alpine range while not occupying an adjacent and apparently similar range with subtle differences in winter climate, terrain, or forage composition. As spring arrives and the snow begins to melt at lower elevations, the sheep move down to make use of earliest growing vegetation. With retreating snow, sheep feed back up the slopes, following the emergent vegetation. At this time, rams begin to leave winter and spring ranges and move away from the ewe herds toward their summering grounds. After lambing, the ewe/lamb herds also move out to the same or different summer ranges. It is at this season that use of natural mineral licks 0 seems most important to the sheep. Natural mineral licks are present 303 on most Dall sheep ranges. Study has revealed that the licks are essential, but reasons for use by sheep are not fully understood. Large licks are obvious and well used for long periods by sheep in some areas, but in other areas are absent or small and used only periodically. Sheep in Alaska are generally in good supply throughout their range. They have not always been so plentiful, for at various times since 1900, severe winters and market hunting have reduced numbers drastically. The chief natural predators are wolves. Usually sheep can easily outdistance their pursuers in rugged cliffs and steep "escape" terrain, but when deep snow, malnutrition, or disease prevent or slow escape, predators exact their toll. Although lynx, coyote, wolverine and even bear are known to take sheep, they are not important predators. During early prospecting and mining days in Alaska, market hunters depleted populations in certain areas. Now, however, hunting in most areas is restricted to trophy animals (males with 3/4 curl or larger horns). Weather is perhaps the most important element affecting sheep numbers. They are occasional victims of snow slides, avalanches, falls, parasites and diseases. 304 BROWN-GRIZZLY BEAR The brown-grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are the largest animals of the genus, with the Alaskan brown-grizzly bears the largest of all carnivores. Most taxonomists now believe that the brown bear and grizzly bear are all of a single species. Brown bears on the Kodiak- Afognak Island group are a reproductively isolated population with distinctive cranial features, and are considered a separate subspecies. However, reference to the brown bear implies southern coastal populations; whereas, reference to the grizzly bear indicates northern and interior Alaska populations. The brown bear resembles its close relative the black bear, Ursus americanus. The brown bear, however, is usually large, has a more prominent shoulder hump and longer, straighter claws. other characteristics such as the shape and relative massiveness of the head help to differentiate these species. Color is not a reliable key in differentiating these -bears for both species have many color phases. Mature males weigh between 500 to 900 pounds with extremely large individuals weighing as much as 1,400 pounds. Females weigh one-half to three-quarters as much as equivalent aged males in given locales. An extremely large brown bear may have a skull approaching 18 inches in length. Such a bear when standing on its hind feet is about nine feet tall. Inland, bears are usually smaller than coastal bears; perhaps because they lack the rich supply of fish. The Alaska brown-grizzly bear is co-,mon over most of the state. They inhabit the Alaskan Peninsula, Kodiak and Afognak Islands, Montague and Hinchinbrook Islands in Prince William Sound and Baranof, Chichagof and Admiralty Islands in southeastern Alaska. 305 Although there are no precise data on the abundance of brown- grizzly bears in the state, there is a general understanding of the species' status. Numerous attempts to determine the abundance of brown- grizzly bears in various areas have met with little success except to yield minimum estimates and to provide information on their relative abundance. Brown bears are probably as abundant as during earlier times, except where they have been displaced by man. Definite reductions in bear numbers have occurred near human population centers. A marked reduction has occurred on the Chiniak portion of Kodiak Island, where conflicts between livestock interests and brown bears are common. Tagging studies have shown that bear movements are confined to limited areas and movements in excess of 30 miles are unusual. Burns and Hensel, (1972) state that in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge the size of individual activity areas, established by eight bears, averaged 5.5 square miles and four bears used two activity area each that averaged 5.7 square miles in size. Activities were associated with food gathering and winter denning. Fixed frequency and location indicated that the 14 bears studied spent 50 percent of their time in lowland habitat. The breeding biology of brown-grizzly bears is reasonably well known. Both sexes usually attain sexual maturity at 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years. Females mature as early as 2 1/2 years while others are 6 1/2 years old at first breeding. Males are usually sexually mature by 4 1/2 years of age. Matings take place from May through July with the peak of activity in early June. Brown bears generally do not have strong mating ties, but individual bears have been observed remaining with their mates for over a month. The hairless young, weighing less than a pound, are born the following January or February in a winter den. Litter size ranges 306 from one to four cubs; two are most common. The large size attained in several months' growth by coastal brown bear cubs compared to interior cubs suggests the differences are largely caused by environment rather than by genetics. A richer food supply, particularly protein-rich salmon, is generally available to coastal bears. The foraging period of coastal bear cubs is also several months longer than that of interior bear cubs which spend more time denning. The gestation period, usually about 245 days, includes a relatively long period of delayed implantation. Implantation usually occurs in October or November. The cubs remain with their mothers-through their second year of life. Female brown bears give birth to a new litter every two or three years. There is strong evidence that the usual interval between litters is three years. - Maximum life span in the wild is unknown, though captives have lived to be 30 years old. Age determinations of wild bears using tooth cementum, aging techniques suggest that some bears reach their late 20's. Cub and yearling litters observed in summer average slightly in excess of two, suggesting a high survival rate for cubs from conception to family breakup. However, it is possible that natural mortality affecting litters may most often involve the entire litter rather than individual cubs, thereby masking the true extent of mortality. During winter, bears experience a period of dormancy which they spend in dens. During this time their body temperature drops, and their general metabolic rate is reduced. This is not considered complete hibernation since they do occasionally emerge from their dens to forage, particularly during spells of warm weather and during years when food is scarce prior to denning. 307 Bears usually enter dormancy in November and December and emerge during April or May. The den is often a natural shelter between tree roots or rocks or may be an excavation dug by the bear itself. Dens are most common at high elevations near timber-line, but may be found anywhere from sea level to alpine areas. On the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak, dens are usually located in the alder, willow and grass zone, and are often lined with grass and leaves. The precise habitat requirements of brown-grizzly bears are unknown, but they are seemingly most at home in open tundra and grassland areas. Even where they occur in forested areas, as in southeastern Alaska, substantial mountain meadows, muskegs, sedge flats, and other grassland areas are present. Perhaps the best indication of habitat requirements is the fact that the most dense populations occur in lush grassland communities, as on Kodiak Island and Alaska Peninsula. Grassland types appear especially critical for bears during the spring, when other high quality foods are scarce. The brown-grizzly bear is an opportunist and will feed on game or domestic animals when it is available. The brown bear is probably not a significant predator on big game species except possibly during spring when the young are most vulnerable. Bears are fond of carrion and will feed on carcasses of any animals they come across. Some instances of .cannibalism have been recorded. As a rule, animal matter constitutes a lesser but important portion of the grizzly bear's diet. An exception is coastal areas where abundant salmon comprise a major segment of the summer and early fall diet. Bears often congregate where food is abundant, and may be seen fishing'side by side in salmon streams. On July 28, 1970, thirty-one brown bears were seen fishing at McNeil River falls at one time. 308 Human activities are the most significant mortality source. Sport hunting is presently the most important human-related mortality factor, but there is also a high mortality of nuisance bears near inhabited areas. Often situations attractive to bears, such as garbage dumps and free-ranging livestock, are responsible for conflicts ending in the bear's death. Factors limiting remote and unexploited populations are largely unknown. Of all Alaska's wildlife, brown-grizzly bears are probably least compatible with human activities., Without special consideration, their numbers will be markedly reduced where substantial and sustained human occupation and confrontation occur. Even with protection, a certain amount of conflict and consequent attribution of bears can be expected. The whole history of the species on this continent has followed this*pattern, and today grizzly bears have disappeared from most of their former range in the contiguous United States and Central America. Their numbers have been markedly reduced over much of Canada and in small portions of Alaska. The brown bear in Europe has suffered a similar fate. The eventual survival of the brown-grizzly bear may not depend entirely on the designation of vast tracts of unspoiled "wilderness", as shown by conflicts occurring in large national parks. Instead, the future of the bear lies in the reassessment of human values to include reasonable co-existence with it. Bears are not constant competitors and the major conflicts usually have resulted from improper land planning and classification, marginal economic pursuits, and basic misunderstanding of bears and their behavior. 309 BLACK BEAR The black bear (Ursus americanus), the smallest of the North American bear, is bulky in build and is quite variable in size depending on sex, age and time of year. As adults, black bears stand about 26 inches at the shoulders and measure about 60 inches from nose to tail. An average adult male in summer weighs 180-200 pounds, with few exceeding 300 pounds. Female average weight is somewhat lighter than males. Fall specimens weigh 20 to 30 percent more than equivalent spring specimens. The usual color of the black bear is jet black with a distinctive brown muzzle and a small white chest patch. In Alaska, black bears are distributed over about three-fourths of the state with no consistent records of the species north of the Brooks Range, on the Seward Peninsula, the Kuskokwim Delta, the Alaska Peninsula south of the Branch River, or on the islands in Southeastern Alaska north of Frederick Sound. They are also absent from some of the large islands of the Gulf of Alaska, notably Kodiak, Montague, and Hinchinbrook. The black bear is a forest species, and in Alaska it's distribution coincides closely with distribution of forests. It has a decided pre- ference for open forests rather than heavy timber and maximum populations generally occur in areas of broken habitat types. Semi-open forest areas composed primarily of fruit-bear'ing shrubs and herbs, lush grasses and succulent forbs are particularly favored. Expansive open areas are generally avoided by black bears. Very little is known of the abundance of the black bear in Alaska. Areas of high relative abundance are known to occur, such as Prince of Wales Island in Southeastern Alaska. Elsewhere in the state black 310 bear numbers are likely to be more sparse than in the southern climates where foraging seasons are longer and richer food complexes (fish) will favor greater densities. Black bears have very poor eyesight, but their senses of smell and hearing are well-developed. Both sexes attain sexual maturity at approximately 3 1/2 years, though females may not breed until 5 or 6. Breeding takes place from about mid-June through mid-July. Gestation lasts approximately 7 months, however almost no active embroyonic growth occurs during the first half of pregnancy. This is due to a delay in the implanting of the embryo (delayed implantation). Implantation of the embryo occurs in early December. Following first conception, breeding occurs during alternate years unless the cubs are lost or spearated from the mother prior to or during the following breeding season. Young are born during late January or February while the mother is in the winter den. At birth the cubs weigh only 8 to 10 ounces, the eyes are closed and they have little hair. The normal litter is two, but a litter of three or four is not uncommon. Litter sizes observed in late summer and early fall suggest a low cub mortality. Upon emerging from the den in May the cubs weigh about five pounds and are covered with fine woolly hair. Cubs are very precocious. Black bear cubs as young as five months have survived with no maternal care. Cubs are normally weaned by September when they are eight months old. They apparently remain with their mother through the first hiber- nation period following their birth. 311 The life expectancy of black bears in the wild is unknown, but is probably much shorter than the 25 years attained by some captive bears. The winter-denning period of the black bear is variable as to time and duration depending upon location and the animal's physical condition. Denning in Alaska will usually begin in October and extend through April and into May. Females with cubs usually emerge from dens later and den earlier than single bears. This is not considered true hibernation as they do occasionally emerge from their dens. Warm weather, particularly if flooding of the den results, is often associated with bears leaving dens for a short period. A few black bears have been seen moving about in deep snow. The location selected for dens varies considerably. Most black bears favor dens dug beneath logs, or in holes dug into hillsides, although,a few bears over-winter with little or no shelter at-all. Some bears will spend considerable amounts of time constructing elaborate dens lined with leaves, ferns and other vegetable matter. The diet of the black bear in Alaska is imprecisely known and is variable depending on the portion of the state in which they live. Bears are omnivorous and are opportunistic when it comes to food, and simple food availability is one of the most important factors governing food habits. Upon emergence in the spring, grasses, sedges, and other early- appearing herbaceous plants appear to constitute the bulk of the diet. After mid-July and throughout the fall a variety of berries such as blueberry, low bush cranberry, high bush cranberry, elderberry and Arctic blueberry.become the most important food utilized by Alaska's interior black bears. However, in areas where salmon occur, black bears food habits change to salmon as they become available. 312 Animal food, however, constitutes only a minor portion of the black bears total food intake. It consists of less than 15 percent of the annual diet, is apparently taken whenever it is obtainable, and is frequently carrion. Invertebrates (particularly insects) along coast areas.are also sought by bears. The black bear will take an occasional prey animal, but is of little significance as a predator. Black bears, as with most bears, have been known to be cannibalistic. Although quite wary of man, some black bears frequent garbage dumps in populated areas, often being encouraged as tourist attractions. Such bears frequently raid human dwellings, which results in a wasteful mortality of these nuisance animals. Mortality factors affecting bear populations are for the most part unidentified. In accessible and inhabited areas, hunting and other human activities are the most significant. Relatively unexploited populations appear naturally limited by other, unidentified factors. Parasitic infestations of black bear are generally low. Endo- parasites, such as roundwarms, tapeworms, lungworm, hookworms and filariid worms are common. Trichinae give the most cause for public concern, as most bears are infected by this parasite. All bear meat should be well- cooked before eating. 313 HARBOR SEALS The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) is a member of the family Phocidae that includes "true" seals, They differ from their nearest relatives the sea lions, fur seals and walruses in that they have no external ears, have flippers that cannot be turned forward and may be found in a marine, estuarine or fresh water environment. In Alaska, it is known also as the common or spotted seal. It is the only hair seal (phocid) found in southern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. From Bristol Bay north, it shares its range with bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) ribbon seals (Histriopho a fasciata.) and ringed seals (Pusa hispida). Harbor seals usually occur in close proximity to the coast although sightings of animals a mile or two offshore are not unusual. Spalding (1964) did not consider the harbor seal a pelagic species and states that they are seldom found more than five miles from shore. Bigg (1969) supports this as he states that "harbor seals live mainly along the coast." However, it is apparent from observations made by the National Fisheries Service during pelagic fur seal investigations that individual animals occasionally do occur some distance offshore. They made a number of sightings, nearly all of single animals, up to 50 miles offshore. Seals thrive equally well in areas with rocky or muddy ocean bottoms. Unlike sea lions and sea otters, which prefer relatively clear water, harbor seals occupy both clear and turbid waters. They are able to catch fish in silt-laden glacial streams and at the bases of glaciers extending to the sea. Haul-out areas include offshore rocks, sandbars and beaches of 314 remote islands. Floating ice pans calved from glaciers are used for hauling out when available. During winter, ice shelves which form at the heads of bays are frequently used as hauling platforms. The average weight of the adult harbor seal is about 200 pounds and length is five to six feet. Their color varies greatly, but is basically a bluish-grey on the back with a scattering of black spots and irregular white rings and loops; the belly is,silvery-white with scattered dark spots. Occasionally, there are marked differences in coloration between seals of two different bays or fiords. From southeastern Alaska to the Aleutian Islands, harbor seals give birth between late May and mid-July, with most pups being born during the first three weeks of June. Birth occurs on sandy beaches or remote reefs and rocks or on glacial ice pans. Usually one pup is born, but twinning does occur. Newborn pups are about 35 inches long and weigh about 28 pounds. The pups are able to swim almost immediately after birth and often take to the water before the next high tide covers their birth place. Pups are usually weaned after three to four weeks. In northern Alaska pupping occurs on drifting sea ice during the first part of April. Pups are born with a long white coat which is retained for several weeks. Apparently they do not enter the water until the fetal coat is replaced by their first coat of adult-like hair. Female harbor seals attain sexual maturity when three or four years old. Mating usually occurs in July, shortly after the females have stopped nursing their pups. Delayed implantation occurs and embryonic development is retarded for about two months. The period of active fetal development is about 8.5 months. These seals are relatively long- lived, and some survive longer than 30 years in the wild. 315 The most common foods eaten by harbor seals are fish and crustaceans. K. Pitcher (A.D.F.&G., Anchorage, AK., pers. comm.) reported that as of September 1, 1975 he had analyzed stomach contents from 161 seals collected in the Prince William Sound-Copper River Delta area. Dominant species included Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), herring (Clupea harenigus eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus), and octopus (octopus other species identified included shrimp (Pandalus sp.), squid, salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.), sand lance (Ammodytes hexaptenus.) and.starry flounder (Platichythys stellatus). This wide variety of food items indicates that seals will take what is most readily available at the time of feeding. Other than man, their only major predators appear to be killer whales and sharks, although some may be taken by eagles and wolves. Some mortality does occur when rookery areas are disturbed during pupping. This disturbance increases the rate of abandonment of pups. Very few cases of severe pathology have been observed in harbor seals. Almost all adult seals have roundworms and spiny-headed worms. Seals tolerate moderate boat traffic through their marine habitat and some disturbance. Although seals may be able to tolerate low levels of pollution, large amounts of oil or other toxic substances in water would be detrimental by harming seals and their food supply. In arctic Alaska the harbor seal has long been a source of food and clothing for the Indian and Eskimo. However, in southern waters his habit of plundering fishermen's nets has resulted in considerable persecution by fisheries interests. They were regarded as a nuisance and as a result, in 1927 a $2.00 bounty was placed on all seals. In 1939, this was increased to $3.00. This $3.00 bounty was retained until 1967 when the Alaska Legislature eliminated the bounty in southern Alaska. During that 40-year period over one million dollars was spent on bounties. As a whole, the bounty system did not control seal numbers. 316 In 1962-63, Alaskan harbor seals entered the European fur market, a market which annually consumes up to 500,000 seal skins. High prices were paid for raw seal skins, stimulating a great deal of interest in harvesting the animals. In 1964, an average prime adult skin was worth $20.00 to the hunter; choice pelts brought as much as $50.00; pup skins averaged about $17.00 each (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1964). The estimated yearly harvest in Alaska, south of Bristol Bay, climbed from about 6,000 to 10,000 seals prior to 1963 to over 50,000 in 1965. The market prices of seal hides then dropped, resulting in a significant decline in hunting pressure. The seal harvest in 1966 dropped to less than 30,000 and continued to decline each year thereafter. Widespread public concern for the welfare of harbor seals and other marine mammal populations has been demonstrated in recent years. The Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-522) was a misguided result of this concern. In general, this'act placed a moritorium in the taking of all marine mammals and placed the responsibility for their management under federal jurisdiction. 317 NORTHERN FUR SEAL In 1786, three years after his search began, Gerassim Pribilof, navigator in the service of Imperial Russia, came upon the islands that now bear his name and found fur seals along the beaches in seemingly uncountable numbers. Almost immediately, the teeming rookeries became a source of sealskins for the fur markets of the world. Today the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) breeds on the Pribilof Islands, St. Paul, St. George and Sea Lion Rocks, in the eastern Bering Sea, the Commander Islands, Bering and Tyleni, in the western Bering Sea, and on Robben Island off Sakhalin U.S.S.R. Small colonies have become established in the Kuril Islands between Kamchatka and Hokkaido and on San Miguel Island off California. The fur seals physical features are adapted to meets its needs. It has unusually large flippers compared with other seals and sea lions. The fur which has over 300,000 hairs per square inch, is so impermeable to water that the skin always remains dry. The fur seal's eyes are relatively large. The nostrils can be closed, and the external ears are small, tightly rolled cylinders with a narrow, waxy orifice that prevents the entrance of water. A fish or squid held by the 36 teeth has no chance to escape. Pups weight from 10 to 12 pounds at birth. Mature females weigh 95 to 110 pounds while a bull may weigh from 400 to 600 pounds. While at sea, the females and young males are a gray color. Pups are black when born, but become gray in September. Males over six years old are predominantly brownish-black, but they vary greatly and may also be dark gray and reddish brown. An adult male develops a short busy mane on his shoulders and neck. Fur seals are opportunistic feeders and appear to feed on whatever 318 species are available. Food habit studies have revealed that the principal foods of fur seals throughout their range are Pacific herring, northern anchovy, Pacific saury, Pacific hake, walleye pollock, rockfish, Atka mackerel, Pacific sand lance, deepsea smelt and nine species of squid. From their oceanic wintering grounds, the forerunners of the annual summer migration appear at the islands early in April or May. These are the large breeding bulls who come ashore to fight among themselves for possession of a rookery or breeding area. About the first of June the breeding females begin to appear from the sea and join the bull seals in their harem areas. Each bull may collect as many as 40 females in his harem. Within a few days after their arrival, each pregnant female gives birth to one pup, after a gestation period of between 11 and 12 months. Females bear their first pup when three years old, but the males do not mature to the extent that they are able to acquire harems until they are six or seven years old. Five days after giving birth the females are impregnated, usually in a single mating. The pup remains on shore while the mother makes trips to sea to feed. Feeding excursions may last 5 to 14 days, but averages eight days. Females nurse only their own offspring, which they recognize by a combination of location, sound and smell. By the time the young are ready to leave the rookery in November, the larger ones weigh over 30 pounds. Nursing ends abruptly when the female leaves the islands to migrate southward. The pups must also leave the islands then to find their own food. The southward migration begins in Ocotber and November and by 319 the end of December, the rookeries are empty. The seals disperse over 40 the southern Bering Sea, the North Pacific Ocean and as far south as California, Some migrate eastward to Japan and the Okhotsk Sea. Unless sick or injured, fur seals rarely land from the time they leave their rookery islands until they return the following spring or slimmer. For over one hundred years the fur seal was hunted on land and sea with little or no regulation of take. In 1911 the Fur Seal Treaty was signed by the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. This treaty prohibited pelagic sealing and provided for a Fur Seal Commission comprised of representatives of the four governments to coordinate research and management of the fur seal. It also provided that the United States would harvest surplus seals from the Pribilof Islands, with a percentage to be returned to the other countries. Seventy percent of the seal skins sold by the United States is paid to the State of Alaska. Because seals are highly polygamous and the sexes are born in equal numbers, it is possible to take many males without adversly affecting the productivity of the herd. The number of seals harvested each year has varied. From 1940 to 1955 the harvest averaged about 66,000 males annually. Since then, the harvest has varied from a high of 96,000 to 1956 to a low of 28,000 in 1973. In addition to providing fur garments, the fur seal has provided feed for poultry, fish and fur-bearing animals, fertilizers, glycerine, tanning oil and pharmeceuticals. They are also an educational and aesthetic resource. 320 SEA OTTER The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) lives in shallow water areas along the shores of the North Pacific. Once, its range extended from southern California north through the Aleutian Islands to the Kamchatka Peninsula and south to the northern islands of Japan. In 1742, Vitus Bering's men returned with sea otter pelts from the historic voyage of discovery of Alaska. These rich furs stimulated excited interest, initiating an era of exploitation which almost wiped out the sea otter. Finally, in 1911 when so few animals were left (in many areas they were completely exter- minated) that it was no longer profitable to hunt them, sea otter were given full protection under the Fur Seal Treaty. Recovery has been slow, but today the population has grown until there are 100,000 or more sea otters in Alaska from the Aleutians to Prince William Sound. Small populations also exist in Russia's Commander Islands and Kurile Islands, and in California. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has trans- planted sea otter to unoccupied areas of their former range, particularly southeastern Alaska. Although sea otter are called marine mammals, they are actually members of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and are related to mink and land otter rather than to seals, seal lions and walrus. Adult males weigh 70 to 80 pounds with some individuals weighing 100 pounds. Females average 40 to 60 pounds. Adults reach a length of 4 1/2 feet. The hind feet are webbed and are used for swimming. While the toes on the fore feet are short and stiff, the animal is able to use them deftly to handle objects such as food. Sea otter are adapted to ocean life. On land their gait is clumsy and they are easily run down by a man. 321 Probably because of this vulnerability, they are seldom found more than a few yards from water. In water they are graceful and powerful swimmers capable of quickly covering considerable distances above or beneath the surface. When chased they sometimes swim porpoise style, alternately swimming underwater and arcing above the surface for air. The fur, which is possibly the finest in the world, consists of a very dense fine underfur of inch-long fibers and very sparce guard hairs. The underfur ranges from brown to almost black. Guard hairs may be black, pale brown, or silver. Older animals often develop a silvery head. This combined with the prominent whiskers lead to the nickname of "Old Man of the Sea". Unlike seals, which rely on a heavy layer of blubber for protection against the cold North Pacific waters, the sea otter must depend upon air trapped in its fine dense fur for maintaining body temperature. if the fur becomes soiled or matted by material such as oil, the insulating qualities are lost resulting in loss of body heat and eventually death. For this reason otter spend much time cleaning and rubbing their fur to keep it clean. Perhaps the most characteristic behavior of sea otter is their habit of swimming on their backs. In this position they propel themselves with their hind flippers, using them alternately like paddles. They may be seen in shallow off-shore areas, often in kelp beds, floating on their backs, feeding, preening or sleeping. Sea otter mate at all times of the year, and their young may be born at any time; however, there appear to be more born in late spring and in summer than any other time of the year. Like other marine mammals they have only one pup during each breeding cycle. Pups weigh three to 322 five pounds at birth and are light brown in color. The female cares for the pup except when diving for food. When traveling, sleeping or preening, the pup usually rides its mother's chest as she floats on her back. The pup may weight 25 pounds when weaned and looks almost as big as its mother. Recent studies suggest that females won't mate while they have pups with them. As a result they probably average one pup every two years. Sea otter do not migrate and seldom travel far unless an area has become overpopulated and food is scarce. They are gregarious and may become concentrated in an area, but they do not normally form herds. An exception is pods of up to several hundred animals which occasionally form off-shore. They do not appear to defend territories and there is little, if any, aggressive behavior. The killer whale is the only likely natural enemy. Evidence suggests that sea otters may live for 15 to 20 years. Fish, sea urchins, rock oysters, crabs, mussels, various other mollusks and octopus ma ke up the normal diet of sea otter. They usually dive to the bottom in five to fifty feet of water, although sometimes deeper, and return with several pieces of food, roll on their backs, .place the food on their chests and eat it piece by piece using their forepaws. Occasionally one will crack clams by hitting them together or even by placing a rock on its chest and pounding the clam against it. In the wild, sea otters never eat on land. The search for food is one of the most important daily activities of sea otters, as large amounts are required to sustain the animal in healthy condition. Early morning and late afternoon and evening hours are usually spent hunting for food while the midday period is spent 323 cleaning their fur and resting. Feeding dives generally last less than one minute although some otter are capable of staying under water for five minutes or more. Since 1911, it has been illegal to kill sea otter or to even posses a.hide without a permit. They are protected by an international treaty on the high seas and by State and Federal laws in territorial waters. 324 SEA LION The Northern, or Steller's sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) is a member of the family Otariidae which includes sea lions and fur seals. It differs from the common seal family Phocidae in that it has hind flippers that can be turned forward and used in a more four-footed method of movement on land, has external ears, and is found almost exclusively in a marine environment. Sea lion pups are most commonly born during late May and June, with the majority of pupping occurring during the first two weeks in June. Usually only one pup is produced, but twinning occurs rarely. The average weight at birth is 44 pounds. Females eventually weigh 600 to 800 pounds, and males may grow as,large as 2,400 pounds. Breeding activity begins in late May when mature bulls begin defending territories on the coastal rookeries. Females-may move about the territories, but all intruding males are challenged. On large rookeries, males generally have 14-17 females within their defended areas. Most females breed within a week or ten days after giving birth, with the peak of breeding activity occurring in Mid-June. Not all sea lions go to rookery areas during the breeding season. Large numbers of bulls occupy male hauling grounds, generally located adjacent to rookeries. Also, males and females without pups may gather on hauling grounds where males also defend territories and engage in breeding activities. Territorial behavior by males begins to decrease around the first of July and by mid-July most breeding activity has ended. 325 Pups are capable of swimming within hours after birth, but most do not venture into the water until they are at least a mouth old. By late July, rookery populations begin to decline as some territorial bulls and females without pups leave the area. Hauling grounds that contained few or no sea lions during the summer gradually begin to attract more animals, but the number using each hauling ground varies from day to day and month to month. As many as 25% of adult females fail to produce a pup each year. In addition, more than half the new pups die in their first year. Drowning, abandonment, malnutrition and predation are the major causes of death. Killer whales, sharks and men prey on adults as well as [email protected] Sea lions are generally shy animals and rush to the water when approached by man, except during the June breeding season. During that month, sea lions on rookeries show great reluctance to leave the land. Although most females will finally flee when a man approaches too closely, some become very protective of their pups and refuse to leave their sides. Similarly, many males continue to defend their territories against all intruders, including men. During winter, some sea lions move into the more protected waters of bays and inland passages. They use hauling grounds that may have been unoccupied in summer and often follow predictable feeding patterns, such as moving into herring spawning areas in spring. Although sea lions live in the marine environment, they occasionally ascend freshwater rivers for short periods of time. They seem to thrive best in remote island areas with extensive shallow water and rocky bottoms highly productive with fish life. Offshore rocks exposed through all stages of the tide are important 326 as resting areas. Sea lions are excellent swimmers and range widely in search of food. They are uncommon in glacial areas where the water is turbid, as they prefer relatively clear waters. Sea lions eat a wide variety of foods including rockfish, sculpin, cod, greenling, sand lance, smelt, salmon, halibut, flounder, octopus, squid, shrimp and crab. Sea lions have long been considered an enemy of fishermen because of their dietary preference for fishes. But few quantative data are available concerning the extent of predation on commercially exploited fishes. Populations of sea lions have been exploited by man throughout history. The earliest harvest records of sea lions come from middens near native village sites and show that sea lions were used extensively. Commercial interest in sea lions brought about harvests of pups for their pelts. Over 45,000 sea lions pups were recorded harvested from Alaskan rookeries from 1959 through 1972 (Calkins et al. 1975). The Marmot Island and Sugarloaf Island rookeries contributed 31,070 of this total. The average price paid to the hunter for sea lion pup skins was about $8.00. All harvesting of sea lions ceased with the advent of the Marine Mzmm ls act of 1972. 327 WALRUS Walruses are the largest Pinnipeds in Arctic and Subarctic seas. They are most commonly found in relatively shallow water areas, close to- ice or land. Their geographical range completely encircles the Polar Basin. Two forms are presently recognized: the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens , and the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus). The groups may be regarded as closely related, but geographically separated subspecies. The present population of the Pacific subspecies is estimated at between 85,000 and 95,000 animals. They are the main stay of several Eskimo villages; their flesh is used for food, their skins as boat coverings, the intestines for making rain gear. In the American sector of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, walruses occur seasonally from Bristol Bay to Point Barrow. Most of the animals undertake a northward spring migration, and retrace their route south during the fall. These movements are directly related to the seasonal advance and retreat of the sea ice. A small number of bulls remain in the Bristol Bay area throughout the summer, and it is thought that they do not rejoin the main herds until the latter move south to their wintering areas, usually in late December or January. The generic name for the walruses--Odobenus (meaning toothwalker), refers to one of their most prominent characteristics--the tusks. These tusks, which are elongated upper canine teeth, are present on both males and females. The body form is basically seal-like, and they have flexible hind flippers, (they can be rotated forward), a thick, heavy neck, and a broad muzzle containing many short, heavy bristles. They are huge animals: adult bulls often approach two tons in weight and, even the 328 females may exceed one ton. Adult bulls can be recognized by their larger size, broad muzzle, heavy tusks, and the presence of numerous large tubercles (bumps) on the neck and shoulders. Walrus calves are most commonly born in late April or early May, during the spring migration. They weight 85 to 140 pounds at birth. Calves are dependent upon their mothers for at least eighteen months, and occasionally for as long as two and one-half years. Most females do not begin to breed until six or seven years of age. Mating occurs during February and March, but growth of the fetus does not begin until about mid-June. This delay in fetal growth occurs, as far as is known, in all the Pinnipeds. The total gestation period, from conception to birth, is about 13 months. However, the actual period of fetal growth is about 10 months. Most cows do not breed again until the year following the birth of their last calf. Thus, calves are produced in alternate years by females in their prime. Calves are produced less frequently by the older females. The age of an individual walrus (except for very old animals) can be determined by the number of rings or "annual layers" observed in cross-section of the teeth. In the older animals, some of the rings laid down during the first few years of life are worn away, However, examination of teeth has shown that wa lrus can potentially reach an age of 35 years. Due to rather constant, significant and selective hunting pressure, as well as other factors, it is doubtful that very many walruses die of old age. . Walruses feed mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates found on the relatively shallow and rich Bering-Chukchi Seas. The major food is clams, and several different kinds are utilized. Only the protruding extremity is eaten, the "foot" of some types of clams, and the siphons 329 of others. It is believed that these parts are torn away from the rest of the clam by strong suction--a method of feeding for which the mouth of the walrus seems ideally designed. The mouth is narrow, with an unusually high roof, strong thick lips which are not deeply cleft along the side of the face (the gape is extremely limited), and a thick, piston-like tongue. The tusks are probably not used to any great extent during feeding. Other food items include snails, crabs, shrimp, worms, and occasionally seals. The food is located by brushing the sea-bottom with the broad, flat muzzle. Walrus hunting is conducted from all of the Eskimo villages near which the animals occur. However, the bulk of the annual harvests (usually around 1,700 walrus) is taken from the villages in, and near, Bering Strait, mainly Gambell, Savoonga, King Island and Little Diomede Island. Hunting loss is very high, and at least on animal is lost for each one retrieved. The total annual kill in Alaska is approximately 3,400 animals. The harvesting of females is limited by regulation. Some walruses are also taken by Siberian Eskimos. The most favorable period for hunting walrus is during the spring and summer when the animals are passing the villages on their way north. Hunting is good on St. Lawrnece Island during May, and progressively later at the more northerly locations. Walruses reach the vicinity of Wainwright and Barrow during late July or early August. 330 NOAA COASTAL SERVICES CTR LIBRARY 3 6668 14110909 2