USFWS
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Alaska Region

Icon of Blue Goose Compass. Click on the compass to view a map of the refuge (pdf)

 

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Spectacles Abound

Abundant, unique and charismatic species make wildlife watching on this refuge a joy. Although access is difficult, the birds and mammals are easy to see once you get there. Cliffs swarming with seabirds, rafts of seaducks offshore in winter, otters, sea lions, birds blown in from Asia, and rare and unique species are viewing highlights.

Best Places

These seven "hotspots" are the easiest places to wildlife watch on the refuge.

Near Homer
Near Seward
Near Sitka
The Pribilof Islands
Adak Island
Unalaska Island
Near Nome

Most Birds

More than a millions birds nest on each of these refuge islands, St. George in the Pribilofs, Kiska, Chagulak, St. Matthew, Forrester and the Semidis. Another island, Buldir, is also in the "millionaire" class but is closed to the public to protect Steller sea lions. Other, more accessible, islands host at least a quarter million nesting seabirds such as St. Lazaria near Sitka, the Barren Islands near Homer and Egg Island near Unalaska.

Most Wanted

Look here for the easiest access on the refuge to some of coastal Alaska's most sought after species:

Horned puffins - The Chiswell Islands, Barren Islands, the Pribilofs
Tufted puffins - St. Lazaria near Sitka, and islands near Seward, Homer, Kodiak
Steller sea lion - Chiswell Islands near Seward
Otters - Seward, Homer, Kodiak, Sitka waters
Eagles - Homer, Seward, Adak, Unalaska, throughout the refuge
Whales - near Seward, Barren Islands near Homer, near Sitka
Harbor seals - throughout SE Alaska, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Aleutians

Rarer Finds

Here is your guide on the best places to find some of the more unique species on or near the refuge.

Birds

Whiskered auklets - Baby Islands near Unalaska
Crested and least auklets - the Pribilof Islands and the Semidi Islands west.
Cassin's auklets - the Semidi Islands west.
Parakeet auklets - from Homer and Seward west.
Red-legged kittiwakes - the Pribilof Islands
Asiatic birds - the Pribilof Islands in May, Attu or any western Aleutian island
Marbled murrelets - waters near Homer, Afognak and Adak
Kittlitz's murrelet - waters near Homer, Adak and Attu
Emperor goose -In winter - Kodiak, Unalaska and Adak
Aleutian cackling goose - Shemya, western Aleutians
McKay's bunting - St. Matthew Island
Evermann's rock ptarmigan - Attu Island
Aleutian song sparrow - Adak and west
Black guillemot - Cape Lisburne
Laysan, black-footed, and short-tailed albatross - Sequam Pass

Mammals

Fur Seals - the Pribilofs
Walrus
- St. Matthew (viewing is better at Round Island off the refuge)
Pribilof shrew - St. Paul Island
Arctic bluephase fox - the Pribilofs
Brown bear - Unimak Island

LINKS to learn more

Bird List
Visitor Services

Last updated: September 8, 2008