Togiak National Wildlife Refuge protects habitat that produces nearly 3 million chinook, sockeye, chum, pink and coho salmon, and 27 other fish species. These fish species are the primary subsistence resource for residents of seven local villages. Fishery resources in this area of Alaska are economically important for commercial fisheries valued at over 8 million dollars, as well as a 6 million dollar sport fishery. Ensuring that adequate numbers of each fish species are allowed to spawn in each drainage is key to this region's aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Togiak Refuge also contains prime habitat for several other fish species, including rainbow trout, Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, and Arctic char (shown above). Anglers come from around the world for an opportunity to pursue these prized fish species. Togiak Refuge is working to further our understanding of these fish species.
View a list of all fish species found on Togiak Refuge, with links to life history information and pictures.
Togiak National Wildlife Refuge conserves habitat for at least 201 staging, migrating, or breeding bird species. Bird species groups include landbirds, shorebirds, seabirds, raptors, and waterfowl (including the northern pintail, shown at left). Birds from the North American Pacific Flyway and several Asiatic routes funnel through the area. Our knowledge of local birds is expanding! Birds are constantly being added to our species list, including the Steller's sea eagle in 2001. Birds that were not previously known to breed in the area, including the Northern hawk owl, have been documented to do so. In addition, our knowledge of abundance and distribution is being fine-tuned as we add to our database. Sightings reported by the public are important contribution to this knowledge.
View a list of the 201 bird species found on the Togiak Refuge.
View a checklist of birds on Togiak Refuge, with abundance and breeding information.
Learn more about public bird counts in the Dillingham area.
Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 30 species of terrestrial mammals. With a wide variety of habitats, Togiak Refuge supports brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves, and many smaller mammals. The Nushagak Peninsula, in the southeastern portion of Togiak Refuge, was the site of a 1988 caribou reintroduction, and the caribou population continues to grow. Moose populations on the refuge have increased substantially in recent years as well, much to the delight of local people. Lynx and wolverines continue their elusive ways, seldom seen except for tracks they leave in the snow.
In addition, 17 species of marine mammals are found along the coastline. Togiak Refuge has haulout sites that provide animals a place to rest after feeding forays in the Bering Sea. Cape Peirce, on the southwestern tip of the refuge, is one of only two regularly used land-based haulouts for Pacific walrus (pictured) in North America. Up to 12,000 male walrus may haul out here at one time. Endangered Steller's sea lions use haulouts within the refuge, as do harbor and spotted seals. Marine and terrestrial mammals are important food resources for local village residents, and are important in the local tourism economy as well.
Link to a list of the mammals that are found on Togiak Refuge, with life history and abundance information and pictures.
To learn more about research projects involving fish and wildlife, please visit our science page.
Last updated: July 24, 2008