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

Alaska's Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge is vast and productiive. The refuge nestles between Alaska’s largest rivers, the Yukon and the Kuskokwim Rivers, where the tundra meets the Bering Sea. Its diversity of habitats support one of the largest aggregations of waterbirds in the world. The hundreds of miles of rivers and streams provide critical spawning and rearing habitat for Pacific salmon species. Drier upland habitats harbor populations of brown and black bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and muskox. Along the coast, the Bering Sea waters host various marine mammals, including whales that pass during migration.

This landscape is the ancestral home of the Yup’ik, Cup’ik, and Deg Xit'an people of Alaska. This is a region rich in culture, where residents depend on resources to support an active subsistence way of life. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is among the most populated rural areas in Alaska, with over 50 Indigenous communities.
COVID-19 Status Update

**Yukon Delta Refuge has temporarily changed its operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The office and Visitor Center are closed to visitors, following recommendations from local public health authorities until further notice. For more information call 907-543-3151.

Visit Us

Rainbow over tundra wetlands in late spring, Yukon Delta Refuge.

Experience the vastness of the tundra, the force of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, and the spectacle of wildlife migration at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers various recreational opportunities to visitors and residents alike, including hiking, camping, fishing, birdwatching, and hunting. Visiting this refuge requires good advance planning: like most of Alaska, access to the refuge is by boat or small airplane, as there are no roads across the landscape. Please consider seasonal variations and variable weather conditions when planning your visit.

A visitor center and administrative office are located in Bethel, AK, within a 10-minute drive from the city airport. The office is open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm year-round, except for major Federal Holidays. Call ahead to to get more information about the refuge and how to plan your visit.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Soaring in the sky, swimming through the waters, or roaming the land, the refuge protects a wide diversity of fish and wildlife species across the vast landscape of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.   

      Projects and Research

      The Yukon Delta Refuge works with partners and communities to conserve fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. Biologists conduct monitoring and research efforts on species of natural and cultural significance, and where adequate, provide the science to support sustainable subsistence opportunities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

      Current monitoring and research efforts include:

      • Kuskokwim fisheries harvest surveys, with emphasis on Chinook salmon
      • Monitoring and management efforts of emperor geese
      • Monitoring of Threatened and Endangered species, such as Steller’s eiders
      • Monitoring and management of Mulchatna caribou.