Birds are sensitive during the nesting season. Vegetation clearing, ground disturbance, heavy wake near shorelines and other site construction and recreational activities can destroy eggs or nestlings or cause nest abandonment. If you encounter an active nest, leave it be and give it space until young hatch and depart the area. Do not destroy eggs, chicks, or adults of wild bird species. Learn about the laws that govern migratory birds in Alaska including possible exceptions for subsistence gathering. More information on avoiding waterbird harassment and timing recommendations for construction activities to minimize impacts to nesting birds.

The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge stretches from the spectacular volcanic islands of the Aleutian chain to the Inside Passage, and north to the Chukchi Sea, providing essential habitat for marine mammals and some 40 million seabirds, representing more than 30 species.
Smiling woman wearing blue SCA uniform leads family on a guided walk.
Visitor Center Calendar of Events

Check out our calendar of events for daily guided ranger programs in the summer and family programs all year.

A large flock of birds fly fast over an island shore. The sunsets and casts red and pink across the ocean horizon and low clouds.
The Service is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for rat eradication on four uninhabited Aleutian Islands.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Least auklet perches on a cliff on St. Paul Island in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

      Much of the refuge has been protected as a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      for over a century, and we recognize that refuge lands are the ancestral homelands of Alaska Native people. Development of sophisticated tools and the abundance of coastal and marine wildlife have made it possible for people to thrive here for thousands of years. Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge stretches across the traditional homelands of the Unangax̂/Aleut in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, as well as smaller parcels on the homelands of Alutiiq/Sugpiak, Yup’ik/Cup’ik, Iñupiat, Dena'ina, Tlingit, Haida, and Eyak peoples. 

      Most of the refuge is federally designated Wilderness

      What We Do

      Captain John Faris assists Unangax elder Helen Ford as she gathers grass for weaving on Attu Island.

      We conserve, protect, and restore the diverse lands, waters, wildlife, and cultural resources of the refuge through excellence in education, outreach, and a program of scientific research on marine resources. Our vision is a viable, abundant, and resilient community of marine life which scientists, indigenous communities, and the public are actively engaged in conservation.

      Our Organization

      A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.

      Our Species


      The islands and coastal lands of the Alaska Maritime Refuge are bird magnets for seabirds whose only other home is the ocean; for birds migrating along Asian routes and needing to rest and eat; for birds that evolved on these remote islands and breed nowhere else.


      The abundance of seabirds and marine mammals that breed and raise their young on the lands of the Alaska Maritime Refuge is due to the banquet of marine foods in surrounding waters.


      On the mainland areas of the refuge, the native mammals are similar to those of nearby areas. On islands, however, native land mammals are either absent or sometimes unique because they have been isolated in their development since the Ice Age. Marine mammals use these coastal lands to breed, raise their young, and rest.


      From the windswept and treeless Aleutian and Pribilof Islands to the lush forests of southeast Alaska, remote island habitats are home to unique plant species, including the endangered Aleutian Shield Fern.

      Our Library

      a line drawing of a sea otter holding her pup
      Download these digital coloring pages created by Alaskan artists to learn more about wildlife and conservation, while creating works of art.

      Get Involved

      So much of our work depends on volunteers, Friends, and partnerships.

      Projects and Research

      We study marine birds, watching for changes in the marine environment that signal conservation problems. Our monitoring program provides long-term, time-series data. When the data reveal biologically-significant changes, scientists can test hypotheses about the causes of those changes. This long-term monitoring program is an integral part of the management of the Alaska Maritime Refuge. The information it provides is used to define "normal" variability in demographic parameters and identify patterns that fall outside norms, thereby signaling conservation issues. The Research Vessel Tiĝlax̂is key to accomplishing our mission.

      Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed project to eradicate nonnative rats from four uninhabited islands (Amchitka, Attu, Great Sitkin, and Kiska Islands) located in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The purpose of the proposed action is to eliminate the impacts...