Not all wildlife live here all year. Only the most hardy or those that can hibernate are found on the Refuge when snow blankets the land and temperatures fall to -30°F, making food scarce.
In April and May flocks of migratory birds arrive by the tens of thousands and hibernating wildlife awaken to search for new plant growth in the longer daylight hours. As the rivers thaw, the first of more than a million salmon begin to migrate up Refuge rivers to spawn. Wildflowers bloom in a changing panorama of colors. New life is everywhere.
Animal activity soon shifts to intense feeding in preparation for migration to milder climates or for winter survival on the Refuge. As the days grow shorter, the tundra turns brilliant hues of reds, juicy berries are abundant, and frost finally silences the hordes of insects.