Migratory Bird Management
Alaska Region



Steller's Eider. USFWS. Click to EnlargeAlaska has more than 174 million acres of wetlands (from Status of Alaska Wetlands Hall et al. 1994), an area larger than Texas. About 20% of America's waterfowl nest here. Alaska supports nesting populations of at least 36 species of waterfowl, including many species and subspecies found nowhere else in the United States, North America, or the world.  For example:

Emperor Goose and Chicks. USFWS. Click to EnlargeSeveral areas in Alaska are particularly important to nesting waterfowl.  Some of these places are:

  • The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta supports one of the largest aggregations of water birds in the world. Over one million ducks and half a million geese breed here annually.
  • Bristol Bay Lowlands: 10% of statewide duck production occurs in these expansive lowlands adjacent to this world-famous commercial salmon fishing bay.
  • Yukon Flats: 10% of statewide duck production takes place in this small lake complex within the floodplain of the Yukon River near Alaska's eastern border with Canada.
  • Tanana/Kuskokwim Valley: about 10% of Alaska's ducks are produced in these rolling black-spruce-carpeted hills outlined by white spruce and pond-filled valleys

Conservation of Alaska's waterfowl requires coordination and partnership with ornithologists, natural resource and land managers, and private landowners in a wide variety of places outside of Alaska where our birds migrate through or overwinter.

  • 50% of Alaska's waterfowl winter in the Pacific Flyway.
  • 25% use the Mississippi Flyway.
  • 10% use the Central Flyway.
  • 10% use the Atlantic Flyway.
  • The remaining 5% percent travel to Mexico, South America, Asia or the Pacific Islands.

Last Updated: March 22, 2010