KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

ST. PAUL ISLAND

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For the last century, reindeer have roamed St. Paul Island without much oversight.

But now, the tribal government is stepping up its management style to boost subsistence options and the local economy.

Fleshy red reindeer quarters are spread across the tables of St. Paul’s tavern. Surrounding them are eager preteens, wielding knives and wearing plastic gloves.

“I don’t think we can cut through this bone," says one student. "It’s like that thick.”

“No! You don’t want to cut through the bone," a teacher responds. 

Courtesy of Jared Weems

In the Pribilof Islands, no one’s gotten an accurate count of blue king crab since the population crashed hard in the 1980s.

This summer, a marine biologist is trying to change that, with the species’ first in-depth study in more than 30 years.

His ultimate goal: Determine if blue crab can make a comeback — or if it’s gone for good.

It’s a foggy day on St. Paul Island, and Jared Weems  is itching for the weather to clear up. He wants to get out on the water and back to work.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 

On Wednesday, Federal officials apologized for their role in the World War II internment of the Unangan people.

Jim Kurth — acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — traveled to St. Paul Island to speak with survivors and descendants.

“As much as we wish, we cannot take back the course of history,” Kurth said. “But what we can do now is heal together. We can work together.”

COASST Island Sentinels

 

What caused more than 300 puffins to wash up dead in the Pribilof Islands last fall? Starvation.

Courtesy Paul Melovidov

For a long time, scientists thought reindeer would be big losers in climate change, but the reindeer on St. Paul Island are challenging that theory.

As their main winter food source has disappeared, the St. Paul herd has changed its diet so they can survive on the remote island. This adaptation could have global implications for reindeer facing a warming climate.

If there’s one fact everyone agrees on about reindeer, it’s this:

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