Fun Facts about Alaska Wildlife
Alaska is a state that is known for many things, such as long summers, long, cold winters, the Iditarod and a vast expanse of land that is rich in natural resources and wildlife. In the fifty plus years that we have served Alaska as a freight forwarding company, one of the things that we have never grown tired of is the opportunity to observe the fascinating wildlife that inhabits the state. We’d like to share some of that wildlife with you along with some fun and interesting facts you may not have known about Alaska’s wildlife.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska has an abundant and diverse wildlife population.
“Diverse and abundant wildlife are central to Alaska’s economy and people. Over 1,000 vertebrate species are found in the state, sometimes in huge numbers. More than 900,000 caribou roam in 32 herds across vast tundra landscapes. On the Copper River Delta alone, five to eight million shorebirds stop to forage and rest each spring on their way to arctic breeding grounds. Alaska has 32 species of carnivores, more than any other state.
Most of Alaska’s fish and wildlife populations are considered healthy. In the rest of the nation, more than 400 species are listed as threatened or endangered. In Alaska, only 20 species are listed this way.”
As you can see, Alaska’s wildlife population is truly abundant and diverse. Let’s take a look at just a few of these species.
- The Bald Eagle: Our national bird is abundant in Alaska with approximately 30,000 birds residing in the state; more than any other place in the United States. The bald eagle is a large and majestic bird with a wing-span of up to 7.5 feet and weighing anywhere from 8-14 pounds. The female bald eagle is larger than the male.
- The Trumpeter Swan: This migratory bird will make its home in Alaska until fall when it moves to warmer climates. While populations of this beautiful bird were dwindling in other parts of the country, they continued to breed and grow in Alaska. As of 1990, it was discovered that 80% of the world’s population of Trumpeter Swans lived in Alaska and this number has increased over the last 20 years.
- The Boreal Owl: This owl is indigenous to Alaska, however not much is known about it since it is a nocturnal animal. It resides mostly in the interior of the upper Kobuk valley, Kodiak Island and throughout South Central Alaska. It is a small bird that tends to stay put year-round although the female may move around during the winter in search of food.
Alaska is known for a wide range of mammals that inhabit the state, not the least of which are bears. Black, Brown and Polar Bears can be found in Alaska.
- Black: It is estimated that 100,000 black bears live in Alaska
- Brown: Brown bears populations vary depending on the area. In areas of low productivity, such as Alaska’s North Slope, the population of brown bears is far more sparse than in other areas.
- Polar: According to the Alaska Fish and Game department, the population of the Southern Beaufort Sea population is about 900 and that of the Bering/Chukchi seas is unknown.
Other mammal populations found in Alaska are:
Just to name a few.
If you plan to visit Alaska, make sure your travel plan includes some time that will allow you to observe the diverse and plentiful wildlife that inhabits the state. However, before you go, it’s important that you understand and carefully observe safety principles should you have a close encounter with any of Alaska’s wildlife.
Alaskans are proud of the fact that their state is home to so many creatures and even more proud of the fact that for many years, Alaska has been a safe haven for many of these wildlife populations to grow and thrive.