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Wildlife Viewing Tips

moose 512x219 Nearly ¾ of a million acres in size, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge is characterized by its diverse habitats and wildlife. Then, why is wildlife viewing so unpredictable here? Unlike the unobstructed viewing experienced on water in Kenai Fjords National Park or in an open tundra area like Denali National Park, much of the terrain at the Refuge is covered with high, dense vegetation. Although there are many miles of roads along the northern boundary of the Refuge, the views obtained from a leisurely car ride are frequently obscured by brush and timber. However, there are several ways to surmount these barriers to wildlife viewing, as outlined below.

 Where's the Wildlife?
All animals have specific needs that make them likely to be seen in certain places. Learning about these needs and habits will definitely make your viewing more rewarding.

Motion is a big giveaway. Your eye may catch a glimpse of something walking, flying, feeding, or scratching.

Some may only appear during certain seasons such as when migrating.

Wildlife are often active in poor weather. Most wildlife seek cover during really bad weather. Many animals come out just after the weather breaks.

Become familiar with, and then visit the habitats required by the animals you are trying to spot.

Most animals are more active around sunrise and sunset.
When there is little traffic on the roads (early morning and late evening), wildlife is much more likely to be seen from your vehicle.

Explore the backcountry via our hiking trails or by canoe. Many animals prefer these less disturbed areas.

Be still and wait for the animals to "come to you".

Do more than just watch. Use your other senses to locate wildlife.Sometimes you'll find animal signs: tracks or scat. Tetlin's Alaska Geographic Store Branches (located at the Visitor Center and Headquarters) have field guides which are helpful aids to identification.



Ways That You Can Help Wildlife! 

Keep Your Distance:
Most animals frighten very easily.
Animals often respond to repeated interference by abandoning their home range, nesting sites, and even their young.
Some animals, like moose and bear, will fiercely defend their territories and offspring.

Whether wildlife responds passively or aggressively, the fact that an animal "responds" to a human means that the person is too close. Always view animals "at a distance" so they are not disturbed by your presence.

Last Updated: Mar 05, 2013
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