Utashud Island

Main page / Territories / South Kamchatka Sanctuary / Unique Ecosystems / Utashud Island

Utashud is a small island rising 80 meters from the Vestinik (Messenger) Bay, found kilometers from shore, across from the estuary of the Vestnik River high. The island is deprived of forestorbrush cover, but its flat slopes are covered in soil. Actually, this is not one but three small related islands, two of which are linked and the third of which can be reached on foot during low tide. Cuspidate ice ramparts (153 and 183 m) adorn the coast. The landscape is adorned with there mains of a half-sunken ship. The island is edged by rocks, which are often covered in kelp.

One of the richest islands on the southeastern side of Kamchatka, Utashud is notable for its population of sea otters (up to 300 individuals), as well as its Steinneger’s harbor seal and spotted sealrookeries. From spring until late December, a group of grey whales feeds here. Utashud is inhabited by 10 species of marine birds with a total abundance over 22,000 pairs, including one of the largest colonies of slaty-backed gulls (4,000 pairs) and tufted puffins (10,000 pairs).

The native people used to visit this island to hunt for sea otters. Today bears and sea eagles frequent the island.
Fragments of giant petrified trees have been found on the island. There is a small cabin for marine mammal and bird observation.

Did You Know

A sea otter's fur is the most expensive in the world. Long ago, there were so many sea otters here that Kronotsky Bay was called «Beaver Sea», but in the mid-18th century they were wiped out.