List of mammals of Alaska

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This is a list of Alaska mammals. It includes all mammals currently found in Alaska, whether resident or as migrants. With 112 mammal species, Alaska ranks 12th of the 50 U.S. states in mammalian diversity.[1]

This article presents the common and scientific names for each species, along more information about the animal. Where the species is unique to Alaska, this article presents a brief overview of the species. Where the species is not unique to Alaska, this article gives information about the habits and distribution that are characteristic of animals occurring in the state. The range maps that accompany the descriptions vary in their precision according to the sources on which they are based. Readers are advised to click on the maps and examine the source information for more information on the species' ranges.

Contents

Shrews[edit]

Alaska shrews have not been studied as much as most of its animals, so many particulars of their distribution, breeding cycles, and population remain unknown. Currently, ten species of shrews have been identified in Alaska, but debate remains over their identity and genetic relationships. All of Alaska's shrew species look alike to lay observers, but experts differentiate them based on their ranges and skull structure. Shrews live throughout the state, even on isolated islands, in habitats from temperate rain forests of the Southeast to Arctic tundra. They generally eat insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates, though they may also eat other meat and plants. Their predators in Alaska include weasels, marten, fox, domestic cats, other shrews, and owls. Shrews may be helpful in agricultural areas by eating insects, but elsewhere they may be pests by eating household meat left uncovered. None of Alaska's shrew populations is threatened, with the possible exception of the Pribilof Island shrew.[2]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Glacier Bay water shrew
Sorex alaskanus
Glacier Bay water shrews are known from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in southeast Alaska.[2]Sorex alaskanus range in ak.png
Common shrew
Sorex cinereus
MaskedShrew23.jpg
The common shrew is one of the two most widespread species of shrew in Alaska (the other being the dusky shrew). It is found from the Brooks Range to Southeast Alaska.[2]Sorex cinereus range in ak.png
Pygmy shrew
Sorex hoyi
Image
The pygmy shrew is found throughout most of the state except the North Slope and the southeast.[2]
Pribilof Island shrew
Sorex hydrodromus
Image
The Pribilof Island shrew is found only on the Pribilof Islands.[2] [3]Sorex hydrodromus range in ak.png
St. Lawrence Island shrew
Sorex jacksoni
The St. Lawrence Island shrew is found only on St. Lawrence Island.[2][4]Sorex jacksoni range in ak.png
Dusky shrew
Sorex monticolus
Image
The dusky shrew is one of the two most widespread species of shrew in Alaska (the other being the common shrew). It is found from the Brooks Range to Southeast Alaska.[2]Sorex cinereus range in ak.png
Water shrew
Sorex palustris
AmWaterShrew23.jpg
The water shrew is found from Southcentral and Southeast Alaska to the Alaska Range in the north.[2]
Tundra shrew
Sorex tundrensis
Image
Tundra shrews are found throughout most of the state except the southeast.[2]
Barrenground shrew
Sorex ugyunak
Image
Barrenground shrews are found on the North Slope.[2]Sorex ugyunak range in ak.png
Tiny shrew
Sorex yukonicus
Image
The tiny shrew appears to be widespread but uncommon in Alaska.[3]Sorex yukonicus range in ak.png

Bats[edit]

Bats are not abundant in Alaska, and are generally found only in Southeast Alaska, some of Southcentral Alaska, and in the Interior as far north as the Yukon River.[4]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Big brown bat
Eptesicus fuscus
Big brown bat.jpg
Only one big brown bat has ever been confirmed in Alaska.[where?] It is the largest bat in Alaska, weighing on average 14g (0.5 oz).[4]
California myotis
Myotis californicus
California Myotis.jpg
As with other myotis species in Alaska, the California myotis often roosts in abandoned buildings and old mines; they may also be found roosting alone in trees or rock crevices.[4] California bats have been observed hibernating in Southeast Alaska.Myotis californicus range in ak.png
Keen's myotis
Myotis keenii
Image
As with other myotis species in Alaska, Keen's myotis often roosts in abandoned buildings and old mines; they may also be found roosting alone in trees or rock crevices.[4] It is suspected that it hibernates in Southeast Alaska.[4]Myotis keenii range in ak.png
Little brown bat
Myotis lucifugus
Little brown bat.jpg
The little brown bat is the most common and widespread bat in Alaska.[4] As with other myotis species in Alaska, little brown bats often roost in abandoned buildings and old mines; they may also be found roosting alone in trees or rock crevices.[4] Little brown bats have been observed hibernating in Southeast Alaska and Kodiak Island.[4]Myotis lucifugus range in ak.png
Long-legged myotis
Myotis volans
Myotis volans.jpg
As with other myotis species in Alaska, the long-legged myotix often roosts in abandoned buildings and old mines; they may also be found roosting alone in trees or rock crevices.[4] It is suspected that it hibernates in Southeast Alaska.[4]Myotis volans range in ak.png
Silver-haired bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans
Lasionycteris noctivagans1.jpg
After the big brown bat, the silver-haired bats is the largest bat in Alaska.[4] It is only found in Southeast Alaska, and only during winter.[4] It roosts alone in trees.[4]Lasionycteris noctivagans range in ak.png

Carnivorans[edit]

Felines[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange map
Lynx
Lynx canadensis
Lynx-canadensis.jpg
[5] Lynx live in a wide range in Alaska, but due to being mostly nocturnal and instinctively secretive predators they are rarely seen by humans. They share a "boom and bust" symbiotic life cycle with the snowshoe hare, the main animal they prey on. In times of booming hare population lynx are spotted more frequently as their numbers rise as well. After the lynx and other predators have decimated the hare population their numbers go down in the following years.Lynx canadensis range in ak.png
Mountain lion
Puma concolor
Mountain lion.jpg
It is unlikely that there is a breeding population of mountain lions in Alaska, but periodic sightings indicate that some mountain lions venture into the state. Generally the state receives two or three reports of mountain lion sightings per year. Reports have come from as far northwest as Homer,[5] but the most credible reports come from the Southeast, which is relatively near an established population of mountain lions in British Columbia. Populations of mountain lions have been increasing in the American West and in Canada, and biologists have speculated that within fifty years Alaska could have a breeding population of its own.[6]Puma concolor range in alaska.png

Canines[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Arctic fox
Alopex lagopus
Polarfuchs 1 2004-11-17.jpg
Arctic foxes are found in treeless coastal areas in the Aleutian Islands and on the state's west and north coasts. Two color morphs occur in the state: white-morph foxes are white in the winter and brown in the summer, while blue-morph foxes are charcoal-colored in summer and a somewhat lighter gray in winter. During the summer, Arctic foxes feed mainly on small animals, but during the winter foxes often venture onto sea ice to eat seal carcasses left by polar bears. Arctic foxes are sometimes trapped for fur; the fur trade is important to many coastal Native villages, though demand for Arctic fox fur has decreased in recent years.[7]Alopex lagopus range in ak.png
Red fox
Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes sitting.jpg
Red foxes are found throughout Alaska, except for the Western Aleutians, some islands in Southeast Alaska, and Prince William Sound. It is an introduced animal on many of the state's islands due to turn of the 20th century fox farming. Red foxes, which are most common south of the Arctic tundra, prefer low marshes, hilly areas, and broken country. Where the red fox's range overlaps with that of the Arctic fox, the red fox dominates. In Alaska, most red foxes are of the characteristic red color phase, but other color phases—which comprise up to 2% of foxes in certain northern areas—include "cross", silver, and black. Predators of red foxes include wolves, lynx, coyotes, wolverines, men (primarily as trappers), and perhaps bears.[8]Vulpes vulpes range in ak.png
Coyote
Canis latrans
Canis latrans.jpg
Coyotes have only been seen in Alaska since the early 20th century; they were originally reported in Southeast Alaska, but since have expanded across the state. The state's coyote population peaked in the 1940s and has declined in many areas since. Coyotes are most common in the Kenai Peninsula, the Mat-Su Valley, and the Copper River Valley and are rare north of the Yukon River. In Alaska, coyotes' diets consist primarily of snowshoe hares, rodents, and carrion; predators of the young include great horned owls, bald eagles, and golden eagles; adults are preyed upon by wolves, bears and cougars. The state offered bounties for killing coyotes in the early 20th century (as did other states); the bounty program ended in 1969, and today a small number of coyotes are trapped in Alaska each year. Because coyotes are very secretive, they are rarely seen by Alaska residents.[9] 
Gray wolf
Canis lupus
Canis lupus 265b.jpg
There are two subspecies of wolves in Alaska;[6] the Mackenzie Valley wolf and Arctic Wolf. Wolves in the southeast are darker and smaller than those in northern regions. Wolves are found on the mainland of Alaska, Unimak Island, and on most major islands in the southeast.[6] There is approximately one wolf per 25 square miles (65 km2) in Alaska. In recent years, efforts to control wolf population through aerial hunting have been a source of controversy in the state.Canis lupus range in ak.png
Domestic dog
Canis lupus familiaris
Alaskan Malamute.jpg
The dog is the very first domesticated animal to reach to Alaska and probably North America around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago from either the Bering Strait or many other ways. There are some dogs native to Alaska like malamutes, huskies, and Klee Kais. Dogs were brought by Europeans such as Labradors, bulldogs, Saint Bernards, and German Shepherds during the Klondike Gold Rush where people were starting to import dogs from outside of Alaska. Many of these new dogs can't be put outside in Alaska's bug-stinging summers and icy cold winters. 

Bears[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Black bear
Ursus americanus
Black Bear Yearling.JPG
Black bears, which are much smaller than the state's brown bears, are found in larger numbers on the mainland of Alaska, but are not found on the islands off of the Gulf of Alaska and the Seward Peninsula.[7] Black bears have been seen in Alaska in a few different shades of colors such as black, brown, cinnamon, and even a rare blue shade.[7] They are widely scattered over Alaska, and pose more of a problem to humans because they come in close contact with them on a regular basis. They are considered a nuisance because they frequently stroll through local towns, camps, backyards, and streets because of their curiosity and easy food sources such as garbage. Black bears didn't live in Alaska until the end of the last ice age.[7]Ursus americanus range in ak.png
Brown bear
Ursus arctos
Grizzly Denali edit.jpg
Alaska contains about 98% of the U.S. brown bear population and 70% of the total North American population.[8] Brown bears can be found throughout the state, with the exclusion of some outlying islands.[8] Most brown bears in Alaska are grizzly bears (the subspecies of brown bear found throughout North America), but Kodiak Island is home to Kodiak bears, another subspecies of brown bear that is the largest of all the Brown Bears and second only to the Polar Bear in size.[8] The density of brown bear populations in Alaska varies according to the availability of food, and in some places is as high as one bear per square mile.[8] More information...Ursus arctos range in ak.png
Polar bear
Ursus maritimus
Polarbearsfamily.jpg
Alaska’s polar bear populations are concentrated along its Arctic coastlines. In the winter, they are most common in the Kuskokwim Delta, St. Matthew Island, and at the southernmost portion of St. Lawrence Island. During the summer months, they migrate to the coastlines of the Arctic Ocean and the Chukchi Sea.[9] Conservation efforts, including the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, have limited polar bear hunts,[9] though polar bear populations may be threatened by oil development and global warming.[9][10] More information...Ursus maritimus range in ak.png

Seals, sea lions, and walrus[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Bearded seal
Erignathus barbatus
Bearded Seal.jpg
Bearded seals are found in the parts of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas where sea ice forms in the winter. Often weighing more than 750 pounds in the winter, they are the largest true seals found in Alaska waters. However, seasonal weight fluctuations typically result in adults weighing approximately 500 pounds during summer months. Bearded seals are generally solitary and migrate seasonally to follow moving sea ice. When sea ice recedes in summer, bearded seals are densely concentrated, but when sea ice occupies much of the northern seas during winter, bearded seals are much less densely populated. In the Bering and Chukchi seas, Bearded seals generally eat crabs, shrimp, clams, snails, and some fishes. During breeding season, males fight frequently and "sing" underwater with a whistle that is partly audible to humans. Alaska Natives living in western coastal villages depend on bearded seals for hides and subsistence.[10]
Elephant seal
Mirounga angustirostris
See elefanten.jpg
Mirounga angustirostris range in ak.png
Hooded seal
Cystophora cristata
Klappmuetze.jpg
Hooded seals generally are found in the Atlantic Ocean, but occasionally individuals wander as far west as Alaska.[11]
Harbor seal
Phoca vitulina
Seehund.jpg
[11]Phoca vitulina range in ak.png
Harp seal
Phoca groenlandica
Phoca groenlandica.jpg
Ribbon seal
Phoca fasciata
Anim0349 - Flickr - NOAA Photo Library.jpg
[12]Phoca fasciata range in ak.png
Ringed seal
Phoca hispida
Ringedsealportrait.jpg
[13]
Spotted seal
Phoca largha
Phoca largha1.jpg
[14]Phoca largha range in ak.png
Northern fur seal
Callorhinus ursinus
Northfursealbull.jpg
[15]Callorhinus ursinus range in ak.png
Steller's sea lion
Eumetopias jubatus
Steller sea lion bull.jpg
[16]Eumetopias jubatus range in ak.png
California sea lion
Zalophus californianus
Zalophus californianus - Morro Bay.jpg
Between 1974 and 2004, 54 California sea lions were reported in Alaska.[12]
Walrus
Odobenus rosmarus
Noaa-walrus30.jpg
[17]Odobenus rosmarus range in ak.png

Raccoons[edit]

SpeciesMore information
Raccoon
Procyon lotor
Procyon lotor (Common raccoon).jpg
The raccoon was introduced into Alaska in the 1930s for the fur trade. Very small but stable populations thrive in Southwestern parts of Alaska.

Weasels and related animals (Mustelidae)[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Wolverine
Gulo gulo
Gulo gulo 2.jpg
Wolverines are found primarily in the more remote areas of mainland Alaska and on some islands in Southeast Alaska. Because wolverines require large amounts of wilderness (the home range of a male may be up to 240 sq. mi.), they are sparsely distributed throughout their range. Wolverines are solitary, except during the May–August breeding season. Wolverines are better adapted for scavenging than for hunting and are opportunistic eaters. During winter, they primarily eat the carcasses of animals that have died of natural causes and the carcasses of moose and caribou left by wolves and hunters. The rest of the year their diet consists of smaller animals, such as voles, squirrels, snowshoe hares, and birds. On rare occasions, wolverines may kill moose or caribou.[18]
Fisher
Martes pennanti
Fisher (animal).jpg
Marten
Martes americana
AmericanMarten23.jpg
Marten are found from Southeast Alaska to the start of treeless tundra in Alaska's north and west. Marten are abundant in Alaska, being most common in the bogs and black spruce forests of Interior Alaska. In much of their range, especially in less optimal habitat, meadow voles and red-backed voles are marten's primary food source. Other important food sources include berries, small birds, eggs, plants, and carrion. Red squirrels, which are a major food source for martens in other areas, are not generally eaten by martens in Alaska. Marten are Alaska's most trapped animal, and as of 1994 generated $1–2 million in income in the state. In most areas, overtrapping is not a management problem.[19]
Short-tailed weasel
Mustela erminea
Mustela.erminea.jpg
[20]
Least weasel
Mustela nivalis
Mustela nivalis -British Wildlife Centre-4.jpg
[21]
Mink
Mustela vison
MustelaVison001.JPG
Mink are found in every region of Alaska except Kodiak Island, the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea offshore islands, and most of the North Slope. Mink are opportunistic hunters, eating almost anything that they can kill; important food sources include fish, birds, bird eggs, insects, crabs, clams, and small mammals. Wolves, foxes, hawks, owls, lynx, and river otters occasionally prey on mink, but the effects of predation on mink population have been studied relatively little. In Alaska, Mink are sometimes trapped for their fur.[22]
North American river otter
Lontra canadensis
NRiverOtter23.jpg
River otters are found throughout Alaska except the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea offshore islands, and the Arctic coast east of Point Lay. [23]
Sea otter
Enhydra lutris
Seaotterrocks.jpg
Early Russian settlement of Alaska can largely be credited to the sea otter industry; sea otter fur is perhaps the finest in the world. Sea otters were hunted nearly to extinction in the late 19th century. In 1911, when sea otters were so scarce that hunting was no longer profitable, they were protected under the international Fur Seal Treaty, and after further conservation measures the sea otter population increased from 2,000 to between 110,000 and 160,000 from 1911 to the mid-1970s. Today, most of the species' original habitat in Alaska has been repopulated, except for some areas of the Southeast. In Southeast Alaska, where sea otters were reintroduced in the 1960s,[24] sea otters continue to expand.[25]Enhydra lutris range in ak.png

Ungulates[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Elk
Cervus canadensis
Roosevelt Elk in Oregon.jpg
Introduced, subspecies: Roosevelt Elk.[13] Found in the southern tip of Alaska.Cervus canadensis range in ak.png
Alaska Moose
Alces alces
Bigbullmoose.jpg
The Alaska subspecies of moose (Alces alces gigas) is the largest in the world; adult males weigh 1,200 to 1,600 pounds (542–725 kg), and adult females weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds (364–591 kg)[14] Alaska's substantial moose population is controlled by predators such as bears and wolves, which prey mainly on vulnerable calves, as well as by hunters.[14] Moose are often hunted for subsistence and recreation.[14] More information...Alces alces range in ak.png
Sitka deer
Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis
Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis.jpg
Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis range in ak.png
Caribou
Rangifer tarandus
Caribou.jpg
Alaska is home to the Rangifer tarandus granti subspecies of caribou.[15] Caribou in Alaska generally are found in tundra and mountain regions, where there are few trees. However, many herds spend the winter months in the boreal forest areas.[15] Caribou in Alaska are abundant; currently there are an estimated 950,000 in the state.[15] The populations of caribou are controlled by predators and hunters (who shoot about 22,000 caribou a year).[15] More information...Rangifer tarandus range in ak.png
Bison
Bison bison athabascae
Bisó de bosc.jpg
The ancestors of the American bison (Bison bison) were introduced to Alaska in 1928.[16] In 2003, there were approximately 900 wild American bison in Alaska.[17] Their numbers are controlled by managed sport hunting, as predation is not common. Bison can occasionally be seen on their summer range from the Richardson Highway south of Delta Junction, on the Delta Junction Bison range and on the Delta Agricultural Project. Another sub-species of bison, the wood bison (b. b. athabascae) was once present in Alaska but is no longer.[18] There are plans to reintroduce wood bison to Alaska in the near future.[19] More information...Bison bison range in ak.png
Mountain goat
Oreamnos americanus
Mountain Goat USFWS.jpg
Mountain goats are found in the rough and rocky mountain regions of Alaska, throughout the Southeast and along the Coastal Mountains of the Cook Inlet.[20] Populations are generally confined in the areas of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains. Mountain goats have been transplanted to the islands of Baranof and Kodiak, where they have maintained a steady population.[20] The mountain goat is the only representation in North America of the goat-like ungulates.[20] Very little was known about mountain goats up until 1900.[20] They constantly migrate to different areas from the alpine ridges in the summer, and to the tree-line in the winter.Oreamnos americanus range in ak.png
Dall sheep
Ovis dalli
Dall sheep lambs.jpg
Dall sheep live in the mountain regions of Alaska where there is rocky terrain and steep, inclined land.[21] The mountain setting is an ideal place for them to rest and feed.[21] They are occasionally seen below their usual high elevation only when food is scarce. Alaska contains a good size population of Dall sheep. In their rocky environment, they are able to avoid predators and human activities.Ovis dalli range in ak.png
Musk ox
Ovibos moschatus
Ovibos moschatus.jpg
Re-introduced; spread from Alaska refugium after the Pleistocene era, then died out in the state.Ovibos moschatus range in ak.png
Saiga Antelope
Saiga tatarica tatarica
Mongolia Saiga tatarica.jpg
A Pleistocene resident of the Alaskan steppe.

Cetaceans[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Bowhead whale
Balaena mysticetus
The Bering Sea stock of bowhead whales is the species' only population that exists in significant numbers, due to previous commercial whaling. While there were 18,000 Bering Sea bowheads before the introduction of commercial whaling, as of 1992 their population was only between 6,400 and 9,200. Bering Sea bowheads follow a 3,600-mile (5800 km) migration route, wintering in the Bering Sea, then moving through the Bering Strait, across the Chuckchi Sea, and into the Canadian Beaufort Sea for the summer. To Alaskan Inuit, bowhead whales are the most important subsistence animal, both culturally and nutritionally. Subsistence whale hunts are managed in accordance with the International Whaling Commission; 41 whales were taken in 1993. [26]Balaena mysticetus range in ak.png
Bowhead.jpg
North Pacific Right Whale
Eubalaena japonica
Megaptera novaeangliae range in ak.png
Eubalaena japonica drawing.jpg
Blue whale
Balaenoptera musculus
Blue whales, which can be found in all the world's oceans, are rare north of the Bering Sea. Blue whales, which are migratory, may be seen in Alaska during the summer; historically, they have been sighted in the eastern Gulf of Alaska, the eastern Aleutians, and the far western Aleutians. Blue whales are rarely seen in near-shore Alaska waters, preferring to spend time along the edges of continental shelves. There have been few recent sightings of blue whales in Alaska; the total north Pacific population of blue whales was approximately 1,200 to 1,700 as of 1994, down from 4,900 to 6,000 before the advent of whaling. In the north Pacific, blue whales primarily eat the krill species Euphausia pacifica and Thysanoessa spinifera.[27]Megaptera novaeangliae range in ak.png
Image-Blue Whale and Hector Dolphine Colored.jpg
Fin whale
Balaenoptera physalus
Megaptera novaeangliae range in ak.png
Fin whale from air.jpg
Sei whale
Balaenoptera borealis
Balaenoptera borealis range in ak.png
Seiwhale001.jpg
Minke whale
Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Balaenoptera acutorostrata range in ak.png
Minke.jpg
Humpback whale
Megaptera novaeangliae
Humpback whales are most commonly seen in Alaska during the summer; most of Alaska's humpbacks winter in Hawaii. While in Alaska, humpbacks frequent Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, the area near Kodiak and the Barren Islands, the area between the Semidi and Shumagin Islands, and the eastern Aleutian Islands and southern Bering Sea. Studies in the early 1990s showed that over 500 humpbacks summered in Southeast Alaska and over 100 summered in Prince William Sound. In Alaska, humpback whales' primary sources of food are herring, other small schooling fish, and krill; their primary predators are killer whales and humans.[28]Megaptera novaeangliae range in ak.png
Humpback Whale underwater shot.jpg
Gray whale
Eschrichtius robustus
[29]Eschrichtius robustus range in ak.png
Graywhale MMC.jpg
Northern right-whale dolphin
Lissodelphis borealis
Northern right whale dolphin.jpg
Striped Dolphin
Stenella coeruleoalba|-
Pacific white-sided dolphin
Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
Lagenorhynchus obliquidens range in ak.png
Pacific white side dolphin.jpg
Short-finned pilot whale
Globicephala macrorhynchus
Globicephala macrorhynchus range in ak.png
PilotWhale.jpg
Risso's dolphin
Grampus griseus
Grampus griseus range in ak.png
Rundkopfdelfin.jpg
Killer whale
Orcinus orca
The Killer whale is also known as the orca whale because it has been known to attack and eat other whales, and large prey animals such as seals and sea lions.[22] Orcas are scattered among the Continental Shelf from southeast Alaska through the Aleutian Islands. They can also be seen in the waters of Prince William Sound.[22]Orcinus orca range in ak.png
Killerwhales jumping.jpg
Harbor porpoise
Phocoena phocoena
Phocoena phocoena range in ak.png
Marsvin (Phocoena phocoena).jpg
Dall's porpoise
Phocoenoides dalli
Phocoenoides dalli range in ak.png
Dalls Porpoise Underwater.JPG
Beluga whale
Delphinapterus leucas
During the summer, belugas eat a variety of fish, occasionally supplemented by other small marine life. Belugas' winter feeding habits are virtually unknown. Belugas are generally found in the ocean, but they may also ascend large rivers such as the Yukon on occasion and do not appear to be affected by the salinity change. There are two populations of belugas in Alaska. The Cook Inlet population is found in the inlet and Shelikof Strait region, and numbers approximately 400 to 500 animals. The larger Bering Sea population ranges throughout the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas; this group comprises perhaps 25,000 animals. Alaska natives harvest small numbers of belugas for food and oil.[30]Delphinapterus leucas range in ak.png
Belugawhale MMC.jpg
Narwhal
Monodon monoceros
Occurs casually in Alaska waters.[23]Monodon monoceros range in ak.png
Narwhalsk.jpg
Sperm whale
Physeter macrocephalus
Physeter catodon range in ak.png
Cuvier's beaked whale
Ziphius cavirostris
Ziphius cavirostris range in ak.png
Cuviers beaked whale-swfsc.jpg
Stejneger's beaked whale
Mesoplodon stejnegeri
Stejneger's beaked whale size.svg

Primates[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Human
Homo sapiens
Inuit Woman 1907 Crisco edit.jpg
Humans began to inhabit Alaska at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period (around 12,000 BCE), when Asiatic groups crossed the Bering Land Bridge into what is now western Alaska. The state was populated by Alaska Native groups at the time Europeans first made contact with Alaska in 1741. A limited number of Russian colonists inhabited the state during the late 18th through the mid-19th century. Gold rushes in the late 19th century brought thousands of miners to Alaska, World War II expanded the state's infrastructure, and the 1960s discovery of oil attracted more residents. Presently, there are approximately 670,000 humans in Alaska, many of whom live in the state's few urban areas. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 75% of Alaska residents are white. 19% are American Indian or Alaska Native, the largest proportion of any state. Multiracial/Mixed-Race people are the third largest group of people in the state, totaling 6.9% of the population.Alaska population map.png
Human population density map

Pikas, hares, and rabbits (Lagomorpha)[edit]

SpeciesMore informationRange
Collared pika
Ochotona collaris
Collaredpika.jpg
Ochotona collaris range in ak.png
Snowshoe hare
Lepus americanus
Lepus americanus.jpg
The snowshoe hare is the most common and widespread hare in Alaska, found everywhere in the state except the lower Kuskokwim Delta, the Alaska Peninsula, and the area north of the Brooks Range.[24] They generally live in brush, mixed spruce forests, and wooded swamps.[24] Snowshoe hare populations are dramatically cyclical, and in peak years there may be up to 600 snowshoe hares per square mi (230/km²) of the animals' range.[24] The hares are a key food source for Alaska's furbearers, especially lynx, and are also important for human subsistence and recreational hunting.[24]Lepus americanus range in ak.png
Tundra hare
Lepus othus
Arctic Hare.jpg
The tundra hare is most often found on the western coast of Alaska, including the Alaska Peninsula, and can occasionally be seen on the Arctic coast and the north slope of the Brooks Range.[24] It generally lives on rocky slopes and upland tundra, avoiding lowlands and forests.[24] They are important for subsistence and recreational hunting and for fur trapping.[24]Lepus othus range in ak.png
European rabbit
Oryctolagus cuniculus
Kaninchen.jpg
Introduced species, found in and around some urban and suburban locales.[31] [32] [33] <525%3ATROMIA>2.0.CO%3B2-1

Rodents[edit]

NameRangeMore information
Alaska marmot
Marmota broweri
Image
The Alaska marmot is found in the scree slopes of the Brooks Range, which provide protection from predators. They eat grass, flowering plants, berries, roots, moss, and lichen. Alaska marmots have special winter dens with a single entrance that is plugged during the entire winter hibernation period. They are built on exposed ridges that thaw earlier than other areas, and the entire colony stays within the den from September until the plug melts in early May. Most marmots mate before emerging from the winter den. In areas where marmots are hunted, marmots remain quiet when approached by humans; Alaska Natives have traditionally eaten marmot meat and used marmot fur in clothing.[34]Marmota broweri range in ak.png
Hoary marmot
Marmota caligata
Hoary marmot rainier 2008.jpg
[35]Marmota caligata range in ak.png
Woodchuck
Marmota monax
DogGroundHog-small.jpg
Arctic ground squirrel
Spermophilus parryii
Spermophilus parryii.jpg
Red squirrel
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
AmericanRedSquirrel.jpg
[36]
Northern flying squirrel
Glaucomys sabrinus
Glaucomys sabrinus.jpg
[37]
Porcupine
Erethizon dorsatum
Porcupine NPS11952.jpg
Weighing approximately 15 pounds, porcupines are the largest of Alaska's rodents except for beavers. Porcupines are found everywhere in Alaska except the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak, Nunivak, and St. Lawrence islands. In winter, porcupines primarily eat trees' inner bark; in summer, they eat trees' buds and young leaves. Porcupines can cause forest management problems when they eat terminal buds or eating bark all the way around trees, though in most parts of Alaska there are not enough porcupines to cause significant damage. Though porcupine's quills discourage most predators, fishers, lynx, wolves, coyotes, and wolverines have developed methods of killing porcupines safely. Porcupines are also easily killed by hunters because of their plodding gate, but they are generally unpopular among hunters because of their meat's strong taste. Porcupine quills are used by Alaska Natives for decoration of clothing; these are collected by cornering porcupines and tapping them with a styrofoam paddle.[38] The porcupine didn't reached Alaska until the last ice age.
Beaver
Castor canadensis
Castor canadensis.jpg
[39]
Bushy-tailed woodrat
Neotoma cinerea
Neotoma cinerea.jpg
Deer mouse
Peromyscus maniculatus
DiGangi-Deermouse.jpg
Introduced
Forest deer mouse
Peromyscus keeni
Image
Meadow jumping mouse
Zapus hudsonius
Zapus hudsonius.jpg
Western jumping mouse
Zapus princeps
Zapus princeps.jpg
Norway rat
Rattus norvegicus
Rattus norvegicus-Rochefort.JPG
Introduced.
House mouse
Mus musculus
House mouse.jpg
Introduced.
Brown lemming
Lemmus trimucronatus
North American Brown Lemming.jpg
[40]
Northern collared lemming
Dicrostonyx groenlandicus
Image
[41]Dicrostonyx groenlandicus range in ak.png
Northern bog lemming
Synaptomys borealis
Image
[42]
Long-tailed vole
Microtus longicaudus
Long-tailed vole.jpg
Long-tailed voles may be found throughout Southeast Alaska, the Yakutat forelands, and the far eastern Interior.
Meadow vole
Microtus pennsylvanicus
Microtus pennsylvanicus.jpg
[43]
Singing vole
Microtus miurus
Microtus miurus crop.jpg
The distribution of the singing vole has not yet been well characterized. Specimens have been found on the North Slope, Seward Peninsula, Brooks Range, Alaska Range, south to the Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet, and west to Cape Newenham. There appear to be no singing voles in the Interior and Southeast. [44]Microtus miurus range in ak.png
St. Matthew Island vole
Microtus abbreviatus
Image
There have been relatively few observations of the St. Matthew Island vole, due to the inaccessibility of St. Matthew Island and the adjacent Hall Island, the only locations it has been found.[45] On these Bering Sea islands, St. Matthew Island voles live in damp lowland areas, on the lower slopes of mountains, and on rye grass-covered beaches. They are diurnal and eat plant matter. Birds and Arctic foxes (the only other mammals on the island) prey on the voles.[46]Microtus abbreviatus range in ak.png
Tundra vole
Microtus oeconomus
TundraVole23.jpg
[47]
Yellow-cheeked vole
Microtus xanthognathus
Image
[48]
Western heather vole
Phenacomys intermedius
Image
The first western heather vole specimen in Alaska was identified in 1999 near Hyder, Alaska.[25]Phenacomys intermedius range in ak.png
Northern red-backed vole
Clethrionomys rutilus
Image
Northern red-backed voles are found throughout mainland Alaska. It is also found on Unimak Island and St. Lawrence Island, but not Southeast Alaska, Kodiak, or Nunivak Island. [49]Clethrionomys rutilus range in ak.png
Southern red-backed vole
Clethrionomys gapperi
SouthernRedbackedVole23.jpg
[50]Clethrionomys gapperi range in ak.png
Muskrat
Ondatra zibethicus
Ondatra zibethicus FWS.jpg
[51]Ondatra zibethicus range in ak.png

See also[edit]

References[edit]

List completeness checked against http://web.archive.org/web/20080105085514/http://curator.museum.uaf.edu/AKMammals/checklist.shtml.

  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080105085514/http://curator.museum.uaf.edu/AKMammals/checklist.shtml
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Shrews: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  3. ^ Sorex yukonicus - University of Alaska Museum
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bats: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  5. ^ Cougar sightings in East Hill neighborhoods continue Chris Eshleman, Homer News, 3/13/05
  6. ^ a b Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "Wolf." 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "Black Bear." 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "Brown Bear." 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c Alaska Department of Fish & Game. "Polar Bear." 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 8, 2007
  10. ^ BBC News | Sci/Tech | Global warming could starve polar bears
  11. ^ Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata at MarineBio.org
  12. ^ IngentaConnect The Occurrence of California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) i
  13. ^ Roosevelt Elk: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  14. ^ a b c Alaska Department of Fish & Game: Moose. 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007. http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/notebook/biggame/moose.php
  15. ^ a b c d Alaska Department of Fish & Game "Caribou." 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007.
  16. ^ Alaska Department of Fish & Game: American Bison. 1994. Retrieved on September 2, 2007. http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/notebook/biggame/bison.php
  17. ^ ”Bison Management Report of Survey-Inventory Activities” 2004-12. Retrieved on September 2, 2007. http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/pubs/techpubs/mgt_rpts/bi04mt.pdf
  18. ^ Restoring Wood Bison in Alaska: Frequently Asked Questions” 2003-10-28. Retrieved on September 2, 2007. http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/management/game/bison_faq.pdf
  19. ^ http://www.adn.com/2010/04/19/1240879/making-a-comeback.html
  20. ^ a b c d Alaska Department of Fish & Game: Mountain Goat. 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 6, 2007. http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/notebook/biggame/mtn_goat.php
  21. ^ a b Alaska Department of Fish & Game: Dall Sheep. 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 8, 2007. [1]
  22. ^ a b Alaska Department of Fish & Game: Orca. 2005-5-23. Retrieved on February 8, 2007. [2]
  23. ^ Monodon monoceros - University of Alaska Museum
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Hares: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  25. ^ Phenacomys intermedius - University of Alaska Museum

External links[edit]