The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 5 million acres of land in the Alaskan wilderness and is a habitat to more than 40 million seabirds, whose nesting and mating habitats are studied and observed by scientists visiting from all around the world. Visitors and scientist alike are often privy to the impressive sight of “bird cities”, where entire colonies of birds gather together for a time. The refuge has a diverse landscape with various terrains rainforests, tundra, cliffs, volcanoes streams, lakes and beaches. Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is definitely a must-visit place for wildlife lovers.
Wildlife at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Among the numerous seabirds found in the refuge are horned and tufted puffins: fork-tailed storm petrels; and Aleutian cackling geese, a bird that is world famous because it was recently removed from the endangered species list only a few years ago.
Migrating birds such as the yellow bittern, the Chinese egret, the Siberian blue robin, and the Eurasian siskin have been seen in the refuges of the Aleutian Islands.
The refuge in fact is comprised of 12 distinct refuges with many dating back to some of the earliest conservation efforts in America. The diversity of landscapes covered by the immense refuge, from dormant volcanoes to forest of kelp, allow for an incredible range of wildlife that includes not only 55 species of bird but also an abundance of marine mammals such as seals, walrus, sea lions, and sea otters.
Fur seals and arctic foxes can be observed on the Pribilof Islands and brown bears make their home on Unimark Island. Walrus can be spotted on St. Mathew Island though the area of Round Island has a better view, just off the refuge grounds.
Location of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge:
The refuge is located in Alaska, it stretches from the east from Forrester Island in the Southern Alaska Panhandle region and Cape Lisburne on the Chukchi Sea to west at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. The administrative headquarters is located in a town called Homer.
Hours of Operation:
The great thing about the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, is that it is open for the public 24/7, all year round.
Address: Alaska Islands and Ocean visitors center, 95 Sterling Hwy, Homer, AK, 99603
It is free to visit the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. However there other costs which vary, depending on the type of lodging and tours.
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge On-Site Amenities:
The Visitors’ Center overlooks Kachemak Bay. It is worth visiting the visitors centre as it teaches you about the area’s wildlife with a particular focus on the refuge’s conservation efforts.
The National Refuge has numerous hiking trails with many expert guides available. You can camp at the refuge, however there are no specially designated camping grounds.
Best Times to Visit:
The best times to visit is during May through October.
Everything that you may need to purchase can be found in the area, particularly in the town of Homer. A first aid kit, water and food supplies are highly recommended for those camping.
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Map
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, 95 Sterling Highway, Suite 1 MS 505, H