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Buldir Island, Alaska

Buldir Island (52º21'N 175º56'E) is the most remote island in the Aleutians, located in the middle of a 120 mile wide pass between the Rat Islands and the Near Islands. With 21 breeding seabird species (including 12 auks), the island supports the most diverse seabird colony in the northern hemisphere. In collaboration with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge of the US Fish and Wildlife Service we have been conducting seabird research on Buldir since 1990.

Questions we are addressing:

1. What sources of selection are responsible for the diversity of visual and acoustic signals used by auklets (Alcidae, Aethia spp.) during the breeding season?

2. How are Least, Crested, Whiskered Auklet populations regulated?

3. Are auklet species in competition for breeding sites and food?

4. What is the likely fate of auklet populations in a situation of rapidly changing climate and oceanography?

5. What are the anthropogenic threats to auklet populations and what management actions need to be taken to offset these?


Some pictures of Buldir:

Buldir viewed from the east (ILJ)

Buldir 'alpine zone' looking west from top of glissade valley (ILJ)


Main talus (ILJ)

Main talus (ILJ)

'American Empire' in North Bight, June 1992 (ILJ)

Camp valley, July 1991 (ILJ)


Some of our study species

Whiskered Auklet

Crested Auklet and Whiskered Auklet

Crested Auklets


Glaucous-winged Gull with Crested Auklet



go to Ian's Buldir birds page!