Alaska is home to a diverse collection of wildlife. From the North slopes to the southern shores, and out on the Aleutian Island chain, Alaska’s 375 million acres teems with creatures that thrive in its 5 climate zones and surrounding seas.
98% of our Brown Bear population live in Alaska . Grizzly bears are a sub-species, as are the larger Kodiak bears which inhabit Kodiak Island. The smaller black bear can be seen, and the illusive polar bear inhabits the Arctic coastline. All enjoy being viewed from a safe distance.
Caribou, often referred to as reindeer, can be seen in the tundra regions and mountainous areas.
Alaska Moose are the largest in the world and can often be seen grazing on roadsides. And marshy areas.
The all-white Mountain goats enjoy the rough and rocky slopes of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains.
A small herd of Bison are the descendants of a cluster that was transplanted from Montana in 1928.
Dall Sheep are noted for the ram’s curling horns. They live in rocky steep terrain, away from most predators.
Alaska wildlife also inhabits the waterways. Salmon swim in from the ocean and follow the freshwater stream of their birth to lay their eggs. Trout inhabit most stream. Orca swim and pack-hunt in the ocean from Southeast Alaska to the Aleutian Islands. Other whale species and dolphins , Halibut, crab, and shrimp are plentiful.
Our national symbol, the Bald Eagle, is only found in North America, and nowhere else more plentiful than Alaska. They fill the trees near Haines, AK, along the banks of the Chilkat River in January-February. Ptarmigan, geese, puffin are among the fowl worth watching for.
If you’re fortunate enough to explore Alaska, the breathtaking scenery will make your adventure worthwhile, but for many, viewing the Alaskan wildlife will be the “icing on the cake”.