Refuge’s New Manager Settles In

logo-w-sunburstKayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge’s new manager stepped into his position this month.

Michael Brady’s career with the Fish and Wildlife Service has taken him all over the country, including Massachusetts, Florida, and California.

Directly before coming to Kodiak, he worked in Ventura, California as the project leader for four refuges, all of which dealt with the California condor vulture population recovery.

He says there were 22 birds in 1982, and there are now roughly 450, half of which live in the wild.

He explains one way they made that change is through laws that restrict hunters’ use of lead bullets.

“It helps because especially the Condor can’t kill anything on its own. It’s only a scavenger, and when they do get into a gut pile, lead fragments throughout the body cavity, and it only takes a small amount to put some of these birds down.”

Brady says, since he’s only a few weeks into his position, he’s still exploring the lands he’s managing and visiting the Refuge’s neighbors. He says he’s already dropped by Old Harbor.

“Some things I’d like to do is get out to the villages more and see where the needs are, as people are up against parts of the refuge – things like subsistence and things like energy and other things that people want to deal with, I want to be able to investigate that and spend time with those folks.”

Brady says he also wants to do more outreach with Kodiak children. He says making connections with kids can change how they view their impact on the land they live on.

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