With Fewer Foxes And Rats, Aleutians Again A Birding Paradise

"The Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, now part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, turned 100 three years ago.

With as many as 200 volcanic islands — the exact number depends on how one defines an "island" — and numerous rocky islets, the Aleutian Chain drapes like a necklace across the North Pacific, stretching from Alaska's mainland nearly all the way to Siberia. The islands extend so far west that the international date line makes a big loop to keep Alaska from sprawling across today and tomorrow at the same time.

A century has passed since President William Taft, on his last day in office, signed an executive order creating the refuge "for the protection of indigenous birds, the propagation of reindeer and fur-bearing animals, and the development of fisheries." Although President Teddy Roosevelt deserves credit for establishing the nation's first wildlife refuges, none were as large as the 2.7-million-acre reserve created by his successor."

Rick Sinnott reports for Alaska Dispatch News July 4, 2016.

Source: Alaska Dispatch News, 07/06/2016