Biological responses of Crested and Least auklets to volcanic destruction of nesting habitat in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella) and Least Auklets (A. pusilla) are crevice-nesting birds that breed in large mixed colonies at relatively few sites in the Aleutian Island archipelago, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Sea of Okhotsk. Many of these colonies are located on active volcanic islands. The eruption of Kasatochi volcano, in the central Aleutians, on August 7, 2008, completely buried all crevice-nesting seabird habitat on the island. This provided an opportunity to examine the response of a large, mixed auklet colony to a major geological disturbance.