|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
Medny Island (Russian: о́стров Ме́дный), also spelled Mednyy or Mednyi, sometimes called Copper Island in English, is the smaller (after Bering Island) of the two main islands in the Commander Islands in the North Pacific Ocean, east of Kamchatka, Russia. (The other fifteen are better described as islets and rocks.) These islands belong to the Kamchatka Krai of the Russian Federation.
The island is 56 km long and between 5 and 7 km wide. The area is 186 km². The maximum elevation reaches 640 m. Average annual temperature is +2.8 °C. About 100 meters off the northwestern end of the islands are the Beaver Stones (Бобровые камни in Russian), two islets connected by an isthmus, with a combined length of 1 km.
The Russian naval officer and historian Vasily Berch believed that Yemelyan Basov reached this island in 1745, during his second of four expeditions to the Commander Islands between 1743 and 1749, and that most of the furs he brought back to Kamchatka in 1745 were hunted on this island.
In 1970, all citizens of the island were moved to neighboring Bering Island. Until 2001, the island was occupied as a frontier post. Since then, the island has been completely uninhabited. Scientific studies of the fauna and flora are conducted annually.
- Georg Wilhelm Steller’s journal, in Frank A. Golder: Bering’s voyages, Vol. 2. p. 129–133. American Geographical Society. Research series, New York, 1925.
- Vasiliĭ Nikolayevich Berch: A Chronological History of the Discovery of the Aleutian Islands or The Exploits of Russian Merchants With a Supplement of Historical Data on the Fur Trade, Materials for the Study of Alaska History, No. 5, The Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario.
- Medny Island at Northern Pacific Fund (Russian)