Highly pathogenic avian influenza & other frequently asked bird health questions

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed in both domestic and wild birds in Canada and the United States. The strain now present in North America has caused illness and death in waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, and birds of prey. Birds that migrate to Alaska to nest and breed could be infected. Learn more including steps hunters can take to reduce infection risk and how to report observations/concerns. See also: Alaska Bird FAQ: if it's sick, abandoned, injured or dead

Winding across the refuge, the Nowitna River forms a broad floodplain that comes alive each spring with the arrival of thousands of migratory songbirds and waterfowl. The river passes through a scenic 15 mile canyon with peaks up to 2,100 feet. Whether you come to fish, hunt, or just enjoy the scenic beauty, you are sure to come to appreciate this special part of Alaska and of our National Wildlife Refuge System. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      In 1980 more than 2 million acres of river valley, wetlands, forest and tundra became the Nowitna Refuge. Winding across the refuge, the Nowitna River forms a broad floodplain that comes alive each spring with the arrival of thousands of migratory songbirds and waterfowl. The river passes through a scenic 15 mile canyon with peaks up to 2,100 feet.

      The grassy margins of ponds and lakes, and many miles of rivers and streams, are important breeding habitat for waterfowl, including ducks, geese, swans and cranes. King and chum salmon, northern pike, and one of only three resident sheefish populations in Alaska can be found in the Nowitna River. Arctic grayling are in most clear water streams on the refuge. Forested lowlands give rise to mature white spruce habitat that provides valuable cover and den sites for marten, furbearers that are important to the trapping economy for local residents. Moose, wolves, lynx, wolverine, black and grizzly bear range throughout the refuge. 

      Whether you come to fish, hunt, or just enjoy the scenic beauty of this wild land you are sure to come to appreciate this special part of Alaska and of our National Wildlife Refuge System. 

      What We Do

      We work to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity including, but not limited to waterfowl, raptors and other migratory birds, furbearers, moose, caribou (including participation in coordinated ecological studies and management of the Western Arctic caribou herd), furbearers, and salmon. We also work to fulfill the international treaty obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and their habitats. The refuge works to provide the opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents. Lastly, we work on water quality and necessary water quantity within the refuge.

      Get Involved

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

      Projects and Research