Karaginskiy Island

Country/territory: Russia (Asian)

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2016)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 255,300 ha

Site description (2004 baseline)
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.

The map polygon is provided courtesy of the Spatial Database on Important Bird Areas of Russia 2014 (© Russian Bird Conservation Union, © Transparent World).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Karaginskiy Island. Downloaded from on 24/02/2024.