Any articles published about the Kuril Islands are likely to linger over the impressive Yankicha Island. It is the southernmost of two islets forming Ushishir Island. Yankicha is distinct in having at its center a caldera that is accessible by small boat only during high tide. Inside this extraordinary lagoon are fumaroles and hot springs, both traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. Fortunate visitors may encounter Arctic foxes or the rare Whiskered Auklet. From the sea, the number of auklets around the island is truly incredible. The island is a nature reserve for birds, and crafty foxes contentedly live off the vast number of breeding birds that nest on the slopes between craggy boulders and stones.