Under the American regime seal fishing off the Aleutians save by the natives has never been legal, but the depletion of the Pribilof herd, the almost complete extinction of the sea otter, and the rapid decrease of the foxes and other fur animals, have threatened the Aleuts (as the natives are commonly called) with starvation.
Of a line drawn from the Diomedes to pass midway between Copper Island, off Kamchatka, and Attu Island of the Aleutians; thirdly, a narrow strip of coast and adjacent islands N.
In passing from the Sitkan district westward toward Kodiak and the Aleutians the climate becomes even more equable, the temperature a little lower and the rainfall somewhat less; 1 the fogs at first less dense, especially near Cook Inlet, where the climate is extremely local, but more and more persistent along the Aleutians.
Of these three classes, and of other than purely zoological interest, are mosquitoes, which swarm in summer in the interior in vast numbers; sea fowl, which are remarkably abundant near the Aleutians; moose, and especially caribou, which in the past were very numerous in the interior and of extreme economic importance to the natives.
The fishing grounds extend along the coast from the extreme south-east past the Aleutians into Bristol Bay.
The red fox is widely distributed, and the white or Arctic fox is very common along the eastern coast of Bering Sea; a blue fox, once wild, is now domesticated on Kodiak and the Aleutians, and on the southern continental coast, and a black fox, very rare, occurs in south-eastern Alaska; the silver fox is very rare.
The walrus, hunted for its ivory tusks, and the sea otter, rarest and most valuable of Alaskan fur animals, are near extermination; the blue fox is now bred for its pelt on the Aleutians and the southern continental coast; the skins of the black and silver fox are extremely rare, and in general the whole fur industry is discouragingly decadent.
The natives have adopted many customs of white civilization, and on the Aleutians, and in coastal Alaska, and in scattered regions in the interior acknowledge Christianity under the forms of the Orthodox Greek or other churches.