Welcome to Animals in Alaska.
Natural life in this state is diverse and plentiful of animals in Alaska. It has majority of habitat for various animals like fish, birds, reptiles and mammals. At the very top it has Bears in food chain. Alaska has 70% of Brown bear population that covers most part of North America.
Alaska is considered as the biggest state along all 50 states of the USA, positioned on the northwest border of Canada. Due to its closeness to the North Pole, there is no sunlight for approximately two months in winter season and during the summer season there is no sunset for the same region and it’s for almost three months. Alaska’s climate often tiers among subarctic and tundra.
In the northernmost part of Alaska there are 112 species of mammals, there are numerous species of big and small rodents, there are 530 types of birds and, and lots of other forms of curious and amazing wild animals. Along with water coast of Alaska there are three different shark species. In Alaska, there are overall around 1100 vertebrate species, called as the Home of those species. Numbers of these are wild animals, and some of those animals are endangered.
Click below to jump to a section on animals in Alaska:
Grizzly Bear is also known as a kind of brown bear. Various people in North America use “grizzly bear” as a word for small and light color bear that are found in the inner regions of Alaska and the term “brown bear” is used for larger and dark color bears which are found in the Coastal areas of Alaska. Nowadays, most of these bears are taken as identical subspecies.
Grizzly bears are big and very light tan (almost white) to dark brown in color. They are short, round ears, having dish face and a big shoulder hump. The big shoulder hump helps the grizzly bear backbone, as the mass of muscle is attached and this directly gives them support for digging, fetching their food. They have got very long claws on the front feet which also provide them greater potential to dig their meals and to dig their dens.
They are 700 pounds (315 kilograms) in weight and the males are heavier than the females and might weigh up to1700 pounds (770 kilograms). Female bear can weigh upto 800 pounds (360 kilograms).
Place where we can find Grizzly bears:
Grizzly bears are found in the various islands of Alaska like South of Frederick (its part of Southeast Alaska), West of Unimak in Aleutian Chain and Bering Sea Island of Alaska.
They are also found in Katmai National Park and Preserve which is remote area in Southern Alaska. They mostly cover region of North America form the mid plains to California along with Central Mexico (north part) throughout Alaska and Canada alongside other animals in Alaska.
Dall Sheep is also known as Thin-horn Sheep is a Wild Sheep found in the mountain levels of Alaska. These white creatures are mostly recognize from big curled horn which is generally categorized as males.
Female Sheep generally called as ewes have additionally horns, however theirs horns are shorter, greater narrow, and best slightly curved. At the age of three year’s male sheep resembles same as female sheep so there is very less difference till the age of three. After three years of age horns of males sheep starts growth which helps to easily recognize them.
Horns grow slowly at some stage in spring, summer, and early fall. During winter season or late fall horns growth slowdown or even stops. This start and stop of horns outcomes in a pattern of rings which is also referred to as annuli and that will also help in finding the age of sheep. Male Dall sheep can live upto 16 years of age and female dall can reaches up to 19 years of age but mostly 12 years old sheep is considered as an old sheep.
Place where we can find dall sheep:
Dall sheep mostly found in the mountain ranges of Alaska like subarctic and arctic mountain range. They are found in the Yukon Territory, the Mackenzie Mountains in Northwest Territories, central & northern British Columbia. They are found in ground areas too like alpine tundra, meadows and rugged surfaces.
They are found in Kenai Mountains, tok area,Wrangell mountains, delta controlled, north side of Alaska rage(Nenana river), south Tanana river and hills.
Musk Ox are categorize in mammals. They have large heads, short legs along with a short neck. They are named as Musk Ox because of musky smell that comes from these mammals also due to their some similar resemblance with Ox but they are not linked with cattle. Musk Ox is considered as a subfamily of Caprinae. The Caprinae family have goats and sheep as there true members, so musk ox is related to mountain goats, chamois and serow.
Musk Ox is found in both north and south part of Alaska. Ox which is found in north part is smaller that those live in south part. Both male and females has horn and old male has 60 cm long horns (24 inches). Male and female musk ox has same structure for horns like they have broad base, deep down from the sides of head, curved shaped from upward end.
Young ox and females have same horn but they are small in size. Old Musk ox has long hair which is dark brown in color touches their feet. Hairs covers ears of musk ox and hides the small tail, they have short hairs on their face which covers it. They have hairy cost which help them in summers and generally called as qiviut.
They travel in groups of generally 20-30 members. They are not aggressive in nature but if adult is attacked by another animal then they will use there horn to protect themselves and other young ox in the group. Sometime this defensive nature will make human to think that they are aggressive in nature. They usually eat grass, sedges and willows. In summer season they carry large amount of fat which helps them in winter season and uses as a supplement.
Place where we can find Musk Ox:
They are found in Northcentral, northeastern and northwestern parts together with other animals in Alaska.
They also found in Nunival Island, Nelson Island, The Seward Peninsula, The Yukon Kusjokwin Delta and in local regions of Alaska.
Caribou has an estimated population of approx. 750000 with 32 caribou groups are present in Alaska region. As the weather changes in Alaska this might affect the migration of Caribou from one place to another place.
They move from different forest location in winter like from Boreal forest areas to open or coastal tundra region in spring season for calving. During migration they cover around 50 miles in a day. Caribou can used these migration routes for many years but as per the availability of food there may be sudden changes in route. Many locals survive on caribou for their livelihood. Caribou has large foot which helps them in snow and soft regions. They also use their feet as paddles while swimming.
In winter season Caribou are brown in color with white neck, feet and white spine. The new-born calves have dark chocolate brown in color sometimes it will be reddish brown hair too. Adult caribou have an average weight of 350 -400pounds and females have an average weight of 175-225 pound. The new born caribou has an average weight of 13 pound which grown very quickly, they may get double in a span of 10-15 days.
Place where you can find Caribou in Alaska:
They found in Denali National Park which is in the north side of Alaska region. Many small caribou roams in Kenai Peninsula region of Alaska. They are found at in Steese Highway which is in North of Fairbanks in Alaska region. In winter season they herds towards Boreal forest (taiga) so they can be find in this region too.
Animals in Alaska: Wolves are the majorly found in Alaska. Around 85 percent of areas in Alask where on can find wolves easily. They mainly cover various areas like Unimak Island in Aleutians, some islands in Southeast Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof.
These regions cover approx. 586000 square mile of area. Wolves are sometime considered as social animals and they usual lives in groups which are known as packs. These groups have parents and pups of year. Some large groups have more number of pups and have more than one female member in their group.
Wolves can be aggressive too while living in groups because of certain behaviour or situation, so one should take care of it. In Alaska there is a large population of gray wolves which is found in the United States. Mainly there are two commonly subspecies of wolves found in Alsaks one is black to nearly white and another one is grey or black in color.
A male wolf has an average weight of approx. 85-115 pound and females wolves has an average weight of 5-10pounds or may reaches to 110pounds. A wolf plays a very vital role in managing the ecosystem of Alaska and also helps in Alaska tourism economy. Many travellers around the world came to see the natural habitat of wolves.
Place where you can find Wolves in Alaska:
They mainly cover various areas like Unimak Island in Aleutians, some islands in Southeast Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof Island alongside other animals in Alaska.
The flying squirrel is one of the animals in Alaska which flies in nature but cannot fly like a bird or bat in the sky, so they just glide not actually fly. There are around 25 subspecies of squirrel which are found in North America along with Interior part of Alaska. They are mostly found in northern and western regions of Alaska. They mainly live near to streams and rivers. Adult flying squirrel has an average weight of 132 gm and 30cm in total length
Flying squirrel mostly eats fungi of various other species. They can also eat mushrooms, nuts, lichens, tree sap, insects, buds & flowers. These squirrels are also known as cache of food when food supplies became low in seasons.
They generally store there food in tree cavities or in their nest which they used when there is low supply of food. They generally created their nest in trees with large diameter trunks and trees those are dead. Nest can also be created in building, homes and they generally shift from one nest to another nest when they are young in age.
Place where you can find Flying Squirrel in Alaska:
Flying squirrel found in eastern United States from Maine south to Florida. They also found at west from Minnesota south to Texas. The second sub species of flying squirrel found in the Northeast region along with west coast and at Idaho and Montana region.
Walrus are animals that look like seal and sea lion but some features created a difference in between these animals. One is their large size and another one is the big tusks. These big tusks are found in both male and female adults.
Walrus are also named as Odobenus which means as tooth-walker and this word also defines their characteristic. Many times walrus use their tusks for climbing on ice, land and also helps in fighting. Tusks also help them in saving their calf from falling over ice. It is generally considered as the animals who has the largest tusk is the dominating one over the others.
But walrus are very loyal to their groups and will not leave each other easily. Male adult walrus has an average weight of 4000 pounds which made them one of the largest aquatic animals. Due to its large size they are harmless but they can be noisy so one should take care of them. Many local Alaska native survive on walrus for their livelihood.
Place where you can find Walrus in Alaska:
There are two species of walrus one is Pacific and another one is Atlantic. The pacific are found in Bering and Chuckchi Sea from Bristol Bay in Southwest Alaska (point barrow in Far North). They generally see in the summer season but can be seen throughout the year.
Sea Otter is considered as the largest member of weasel family. They are color in brown to black and have a very dense fur and have long hairs which protects them. The guard hair color may vary from brown – black – sliver.
These animals in Alaska back feet help them in swimming and their fore feet are short and stiff in size. The adult sea otters can grow upto 5 feet in length. Male sea otter has an average weight of 80-100pounds and can be more than 100 pounds. The female sea otter are smaller in size and has an average weight of 50-70 pounds.
They are mostly hunted for their fur. Sea Otter generally survive on marine food diet like fish, mussels, abalone, sea urchins, worms, snails. They are good swimmer and can spend most of their time in water. They came very occasionally on land to rest.
Place where you can find Walrus in Alaska:
They can be found in many places of Alaska like in Aleutian Island, Southern Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. In Alaska they are found in Southeast stock from west of Glacier Bay to the eastern edge of Cook.
Puffins are the most unique sea birds which are found at the coastal Alaska. There are two species of Puffins, one is tufted puffin and another one is horned puffin. The difference will be bright orange beak and web kind of feed which are black & white in color. In earlier times sailors used to call them sea parrots because of their color.
Tufted puffins have golden tufts of feathers behind their eye and horned puffin has black horn kind of marking over both the eyes so they are differentiate with their eye marks. Their weight is approx. 1.5 pounds and average wingspan is if 25-30 inches. Puffins can swim under water, they are good swimmer. They are made for swimming rather than to fly. Many tourist visits to see them in different locations of Alaska.
Place where you can find Puffins in Alaska:
They are found in Southeast, southwest and south central of Alaska. They can mainly find in wildlife cruise or trips towards coastal areas of Alaska.
Puffins can find in the month of September. They mostly spend their winter at sea side at the North Pacific Ocean.
Summary on Animals in Alaska
Animals in Alaska play a very important role in managing the ecosystem. Once can found a plentiful of animals in Alaska region especially brown bear. There are approx. 112 species of mammals along with 530 kinds of birds. There are 1000 vertebrate species found in Alaska region like grey wolf, fishes, red fox, musk oxen etc.
Due to its closeness to the North Pole, there is no sunlight for approximately two months in winter season and during the summer season there is no sunset for the same region and it’s for almost three months. There are number of parks found in Alaska like Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kobuk Valley National park, Glacier Bay National Park and many others where we can find many species of animals.