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Location Russia (Asian), Koryakia
Central coordinates 164o 8.95' East  58o 54.35' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 255,300 ha
Altitude 0 - 920m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Site description This large 1,243-square-mile (3,180 sq km) uninhabited island lies in Karaginsky Bay along the northwest coast of Kamchatka (58°25'-59°15' N; 163°25'-164°29'E) on a major bird migration route. Ossora village, 34 miles (54 km) to the southeast on the mainland, is the nearest settlement.

Key Biodiversity The island is an important staging area for 600,000 migrating loons, ducks, cormorants, shorebirds and gulls. The most abundant ducks are common eiders, Steller’s eiders, harlequins, northern pintails, Eurasian wigeons, green-winged teal and scoters. The island also attracts 80 nesting species with the western wetlands inhabited by high populations of common eiders and lesser numbers of harlequin ducks, which nest in the mountains. Following the breeding season, western nearshore waters serve as key molting habitat for eiders, scoters, mergansers and harlequins. East coast sea cliffs support 39 colonies of an estimated 240,000 pairs of nesting seabirds. These include black-legged kittiwakes, common and thick-billed murres, pelagic cormorants, slaty-backed gulls and tufted puffins. Red-necked phalaropes, rufous-necked stints, dunlins and whimbrels are the most numerous of the shorebirds. Russian Red Data Book species regularly recorded include Steller’s sea eagle, gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, and Aleutian tern.

Other notable wildlife: Whales, seals and Steller's sea lions inhabit surrounding marine waters. Domestic reindeer range freely over the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri winter  2004  present  A4i  Vulnerable 
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus passage  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima winter  2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Goosander Mergus merganser unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Steller's Sea-eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2004  10,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Karaginski Island, Bering Sea Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 193,597 protected area contained by site 193,597  
Ostrov Karaginskiy Zakaznik 200,000 protected area contained by site 200,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Permanent swamps  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Forest Mixed broadleaf-coniferous forest (temp/boreal  -

Protection status The entire island and 1.2-mile wide (1.9 km) marine zone is protected in a regional wildlife refuge (zakaznik) with management authority assigned to the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Koryak Autonomous Area. The zakaznik was designated a Ramsar "wetland site of international significance" in 1995.

Acknowledgements The identification of IBAs and information collected between 1980 and 2009 provided by the IBA network of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (RBCU).

References Audubon Alaska / BirdLife Asia / RBCU (2004) Important Bird Areas of the Bering Sea ecoregion. Anchorage, USA: Audubon Alaska. 46 pp.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Karaginskiy island. Downloaded from on 26/11/2015

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