Flora and Fauna of the Pribilof Islands

This page was written by Jeanette Wolak and Erin Klauk as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education.

Red-crested cormorants and horned puffins, Pribilof Islands, AK. Details

The Pribilof Islands are home to a diverse assemblage of flora and fauna. The islands includes a variety of seabirds, whales and fish, marine mammals, and land species such as arctic foxes and reindeer. Biologists who study these islands have labeled them the 'Galapagos of the North' in reference to their abundant biological diversity over such a small area.

The shallowly-sloping beaches of the Pribilof Islands serve as rookeries and haul-out grounds for large populations of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). These marine mammals were valued for their furs by Russian and American traders throughout the 18th and 19th century. For more information about the history of fur seals and Aleut seal hunters, click here.

Basaltic cliffs of St. George Island rise sharply from the ocean, measuring a thousand feet at their highest points (Danger in Numbers (more info) ). Over 3 million seabirds nest on St. George, including murres, auklets, puffins, cormorants, and black- and red-legged kittiwakes (Kenyon and Phillips, 1965 (more info) ). St. Paul also hosts a variety of seabirds, though populations are an order of magnitude lower.


To further investigate the flora and fauna of the Pribilof Islands, check out the links below:

Flora and Fauna of the Pribilofs

Resources containing information about the flora and fauna of the Pribilof Islands, Alaska.

Northern Fur Seals of the Pribilofs

Resources containing information about northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus.

Birds of the Pribilofs

Resources containing information about birds found in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska.


For ideas on how to use these webpages in a classroom, a Study Guide is provided.