|St. Paul Fur Seals and Arctic Foxes
The Pribilof Islands support about half of the global population of northern fur seals, with most of them breeding on St. Paul Island.
Sadly, the population of fur seals is on the decline from over fishing of the oceans and global warming.
|Over fishing and climate change means that few of these pups will survive.
The blue fox, a subspecies of the Arctic fox, is small. Endemic to the island, the fox can be found roaming the hills and climbing the
cliffs as it scavenges for food. Some kits shed their dark color much faster than their siblings and adopt a fluffy white/grey coat by
mid-September. Foxes inhabiting areas farther from the human dwellings boast a more aggressive and territorial manner. Edging the
fur seal rookeries, the two species cohabit easily.
|A pup peers out of its den.
|A few foxes hang out near and around the town.
|Wild flowers are plentiful on the island.
|Fishing has a major role on the island. The area around the island is reserved for fishing by the islanders.
King Crab is big in the winter time. Each of these crab cages weights 1,000 pounds!
Trident has a fish processing plant on the island. In the summer, they process halibut and employ about 30 people. The big season
is in the winter during crab season when the factory employs 300 seasonal employees.
|Orcas come to the island for seal pups in the summer.
|The town of St. Paul -- population 500
90% of those with a religious identification identify with the Russian Orthocox church. A first church was built in 1779 "according to
legend"; a second church was built in 1819 atop the island's tallest hill. The current church was built in 1907, and was then "one of
the most ambitiously designed and effectively executed small churches of the Byzantine tradition in Alaska." Its onion domes,
however, were repeatedly damaged in storms, and have been replaced.
|Jackie with our friend Gunther during the factory tour.