Alaska is home to vibrant wildlife and some of the last untouched habitat.
Some of America’s most iconic wildlife including hundreds of rare and endangered species find haven in the wildlife refuges, national parks, national forests and state land that are designated across Alaska.
Polar bears are perhaps the most recognizable, but walrus, caribou, Arctic fox, snowy owls, musk oxen and migratory birds from all 50 states all depend on Alaskan habitat. Just offshore, Cook inlet beluga and bowhead whales, Arctic ringed and bearded seals, and Stellar sea lions, and four types of salmon swim in Arctic waters. Climate change, oil and gas drilling, seismic testing, and natural resource management policies are all threatening this region.
Defenders is working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Tongass National Forest, National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and other key ecosystems from the threats posed by climate change, unsustainable development and unsound wildlife and habitat policies and management practices.
We are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local communities like Kaktovik to increase the use of nonlethal coexistence methods to keep people and polar bears safe. We are also working with local communities, residents and tourists on the Kenai Peninsula to ensure brown bear coexistence and safety measures are in place.
We launched the Bering Strait Response Teaching Tool to increase community engagement in oil spill preparedness, planning and response in the largest marine wildlife corridor on the planet. We also work on the state level to limit aggressive predator control actions on national wildlife refuge and national park service lands.