Environmental Issues > Wildlife Main Page > All Wildlife Documents

Wildlife on the BrinkAlaska
AlaskaNorthwestCaliforniaRockies/PrairieSouthwestMidwestSoutheastNortheastHawaiiInternational
Alaska scenicSpecies Gallery

Alaska
regional quote
Alaska has long been known as a "last frontier," a wild, vast land roomy enough to accommodate any tinkering humans might do with no ill effect to its other inhabitants. And indeed, wilderness survives in Alaska on a scale that boggles the mind. But even in this proud land, the signs of strain are beginning to show. Alaskan wildlife faces threats from global warming, habitat loss, oil and gas development and other alterations to the environment that supports them. Click though the images above to learn about four species already on the brink.
BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
IMPORTANT WILDLIFE AREAS
NORTH SLOPE: The rolling tundra that stretches from the glacier-capped Brooks Range down to the wetlands along the Beaufort Sea is a calving area for huge herds of caribou, and vital habitat for polar bears, wolves and millions of migratory birds.
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST: Dominating Alaska's southeastern panhandle, the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest is the world's largest intact temperate rainforest. It hosts the world's largest breeding concentration of bald eagles in its dense stands of ancient hemlock, spruce and cedar. These old-growth trees also provide critical nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet, a threatened sea bird.
BRISTOL BAY: In the crook between the Alaska Peninsula's northern coast and the mainland, Bristol Bay's marshy lowlands and riverine estuaries support the largest sockeye salmon run in the world, huge multitudes of waterfowl and other birds, and large numbers of brown bears.
PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND: Sea otters, orcas and gray whales, tidewater glaciers, rich fisheries, the world's northernmost rainforest—Prince William Sound is one of the world's most biologically productive and beautiful ecosystems, even as effects linger from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
AlaskaNorthwestCaliforniaRockies/PrairieSouthwestMidwestSoutheastNortheastHawaiiInternational
Photos: Alaska © PhotoDisc; polar bear © Steve Amstrup, Alaska Image Library, USFWS; spectacled eider © Chris Dau, Alaska Image Library, USFWS; beluga whale © Corbis; yellow-billed loon © Getty Images
Feature Home Print Version Alaska Northwest California Rockies/Prairie Southwest Midwest Southeast Northeast Hawaii International Polar Bear Spectacled Eider Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Yellow-Billed Loon

Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter

See the latest issue >

Donate to NRDC
Give the Gift That Will Make a Difference: Den Defender

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.


Donate now >

Related Stories

Return of the Black Rhinos
Namibia's black rhinos are now more valuable alive than dead.
In the Bay of Whales
Getting up close and personal with gray whales at Laguna San Ignacio.
Share | |