ANCHORAGE, Alaska — There are herds of cattle on a pair of remote Alaska islands that have survived for decades despite any number of threats to their existence.
|Some of the few actively-managed cattle, on Chirikof Island|
The animals have been abandoned. They've been forced to adapt to brutal winters. And they go for months at a time eating little more than seaweed that washes ashore.
But today, the resilient cows face a threat from those who say the herds are battering the habitat of native wildlife such as seabirds and salmon.
"The cattle are really doing a number," said Patrick Saltonstall, an archaeologist who works in the area. "In some parts, the creeks aren't even creeks anymore. They're just like quicksand. They've just been pulverized, pounded into nothing."
Federal wildlife managers have asked this month for public comment as they seek to remove nearly 1,000 animals from the uninhabited, isolated islands in southwest Alaska.
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