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  • Camp at Sunset

    Refuge Galleries

    Take a virtual trip to Selawik Refuge by viewing one of our online photo galleries: scenery, wildlife, or plants.

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  • Cloud reflection

    Find us on Facebook

    Check out our Facebook page for photos, links & natural history tidbits from northwest Alaska. Comments welcome!

    Selawik NWR on Facebook

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    YCC Crew in summer 2016!

    We enjoyed hiring a Youth Conservation Corps crew in Selawik this June! Look for YCC to return in the summer of 2017.

Refuge Highlights

About the Refuge

In a remote corner of northwestern Alaska lies Selawik Refuge, a special place of extreme climate, free-flowing rivers, and abundant wildlife. Here where the boreal forest of Interior Alaska meets the arctic tundra, thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, fish, insects and other creatures rest, breed and feed in the vast wetlands complex that is the heart of the Selawik Refuge. Here also is the homeland of the Iñupiat, where local people hunt, fish and gather as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. Over two million acres of land make up the refuge, which straddles the Arctic Circle and offers adventure and rejuvenation for visitors.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Items of Note

  • Final Regulatory Changes

    Bear with cubs_kodiak

    The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Publishes a Final Rule on the Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife for Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Regulations. The rule was developed in response to public interest and concern about predator control and recent liberalization of predator harvest within the State of Alaska. The final rule will become effective on September 6, 2016.

  • Western Arctic Caribou Herd

    The Western Arctic Caribou Herd is one of the most spectacular resources of the Selawik Refuge. Numbering somewhere around 200,000 animals, the herd is the largest in Alaska, roaming an area of 140,000 square miles—the size of Montana—in northwest Alaska. Most of the herd crosses refuge lands during both their northerly spring and southerly fall migrations. Tuttu, as caribou are known in Iñupiaq, have been a vital element of Iñupiaq life for millenia.

    More about flora and fauna of the refuge...
  • Science-Culture Camp

    Culture Camp working on fish

    Each fall for the past 15 years, students, elders, teachers, and community members from the Iñupiaq village of Selawik have celebrated their connection to land and culture at a Science-Culture Camp. Every morning for two weeks, rain or shine, participants eagerly climb aboard boats for the 15-minute ride to the camp. Highlights from camp include catching and processing fish for drying into paniqtuq (a local food staple), picking berries, hunting caribou, exploring the area's ecology and learning survival skills.

    Read more about our educational programs...
Page Photo CreditsRunning Caribou courtesy Tina Moran, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2016
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