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USA Parks
USA Parks
Alaska
Alaska
Southeast Region
Southeast Region
Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge
Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge
SAINT LAZARIA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
SAINT LAZARIA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Rising no more than 160 feet above the surging ocean at the entrance to Sitka Sound, Saint Lazaria Island was established as a refuge for seabirds in 1909, became a Wilderness in 1970, and was added as a subunit to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in 1980. Saint Lazaria has two low summits, forested with old-growth Sitka spruce, which are connected by a bare saddle that is washed by waves at high tide. Cliffs topped with lush grasses fall to the sea.

Among the tangled tree roots, emerging only at night to feed, are the burrows of petrels, tufted puffins, and rhinoceros auklets. Pigeon guillemots build their nests in rocky crevices near common murres, glaucous-winged gulls, and pelagic cormorants. Well over half a million birds lay their eggs on Saint Lazaria, under frequently overcast skies that drizzle rain throughout much of the year and winds that blow moderate to strong.

Humans are asked to not land on the island, and especially not to walk around. Burrows are easily destroyed, and most of the birds will leave their nests when disturbed, allowing the bolder gulls to swoop in and feed on eggs and chicks.


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USA Parks
USA Parks
Alaska
Alaska
Southeast Region
Southeast Region
Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge
Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge