U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

This 3.5 million acre Refuge lies within the expansive floodplain of the Koyukuk River in interior Alaska.
101 Front St
P.O. Box 287
Galena, AK   99741
E-mail: koyukuk@fws.gov
Phone Number: 907-656-1231
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Extensive wetlands are a trademark of the Koyukuk Refuge.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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A dominant feature of the refuge is water: branching rivers and sloughs are bordered by hundreds of lakes, all of which provide outstanding breeding grounds for waterfowl. Thousands of ducks, primarily wigeon, pintail, scaup, white-fronted and Canada geese, and hundreds of tundra and trumpeter swans arrive each spring to nest and raise their young. Chinook, chum and coho salmon migrate up the larger rivers to spawn in clear water streams. Whitefish and northern pike are abundant in lowland waters, and grayling are found in colder headwater streams.

Bordering the wetlands is the boreal forest, a sprawling mosaic of spruce forest, birch woodlands, thickets of willow and alder, and grassy wet-meadows. Here the landscape has been shaped by fire and the winding nature of rivers. Lightning-ignited fires burn in irregular patterns which over the years creates a patchwork of habitats that supplies the needs of a variety of wildlife species. Moose browse tender young willows along river banks. Caribou scrape away winter snow to reveal lichens, their winter food. With moose and caribou present, wolves are common in the area. Black bears are abundant in forested areas, and grizzlies are found in the open tundra of higher elevations. Furbearers such as beavers, marten, muskrats, and mink are locally abundant. And each summer songbirds migrate thousands of miles to take advantage of the region's rich supply of insects.

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