This project addresses unauthorized grazing by cattle on two islands (Wosnesenski and Chirikof) within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1980 to conserve marine mammals, seabirds, and other migratory birds, and the marine resources upon which they rely. Wosnesenski and Chirikof Islands have sustained severe impacts to wildlife habitat, native vegetation, and archaeological sites from grazing by unauthorized cattle left behind when ranchers left the islands years ago.
Remotely sensed imagery was acquired for the Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands, and used to display the impacts of grazing on these islands at public meetings and will be used to develop a land cover assessment. The imagery will also serve as a baseline to document future vegetation changes.
Wosnesenski Island, Alaska. Grazing by approximately 200 introduced cattle are impacting terrestrial vegetation, producing large patches of bare sand dunes.