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E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-888-721-3555
 or 302/529-1876


in Alaska
noting with an (*)
those found during
Focus On Nature Tours

1995 thru 2015

during the months 
of May and June

A List of Alaska Mammals by Armas Hill 

Photo at upper right: MOOSE photographed during a FONT tour


(t1):  critically threatened
(t2):  endangered 
(t3):  vulnerable
(nt):  classified as near-threatened globally

(i): introduced in the area of Alaska where seen

Species seen during our tours in Alaska noted with an (*) 

(ph):  species with a photo in the FONT website 

Areas with Wildlife in Northern Alaska:  

From the Dalton Highway west, much of the Brooks Range is in this park, one of the premier wilderness areas in the US national park system. It encompasses 8.4 million acres, and protects primeval landscapes, their flora and fauna, and the culture and traditions of Alaskan native people.
The forester and conservationist Robert Marshal explored the area in the 1930s. Impressed by two massive peaks flanking the North Fork of the Koyukuk River, he called them the "Gateway to the Arctic".
This area was visited during the FONT Alaska Tour in June 2013.

From the Dalton Highway area, near Atigun Canyon, this refuge extends east across the Brooks Range and the North Slope to Canada. it is an extraordinary wilderness.
The Porcupine Caribou Herd (named for the Porcupine River), Polar Bears, and Musk Oxen depend upon its unspoiled environment.
The pioneer Alaskan conservationists Olaus and Margaret Murie traveled the region by dog team and canoe, and were instrumental in gaining refuge status for the area.

Species occurring in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are coded in this list with: ANWR  

Located west of the Finger Mountain area (visited during the FONT Alaska Tour in June 2013), this refuge is slightly larger than the US state of Delaware. It protects large wetland areas that are critical to nesting waterfowl and other wildlife. Resources provide sustenance for the people of the Koyukuk River valley.

Encompassing an area larger than Connecticut and Vermont combined, this refuge protects a vast complex of lakes and rivers in the Yukon River watershed upstream from the Dalton Highway. Wildlife thrives in the area.
The Yukon River was crossed during the FONT Alaska Tour in June 2013 on the only bridge over the large river in Alaska, along the Dalton Highway. 


Upcoming FONT Alaska Tour Itineraries     Mammals of North America

Birds in Alaska     Butterflies in Alaska     Wildflowers & Other Plants in Alaska   

Alaska Marine Life (including Fish) 



  1. Cinereus Shrew  ______  ANWR
    Sorex cinereus

    Sorex cinereus
    is also called the Masked Shrew. It lives in wet areas and forests. 

  2. Pygmy Shrew  ______  ANWR
    Sorex hoyi

    Sorex hoyi
    lives in forests and open areas, south of the Brooks Range.

  3. Water Shrew  ______
    Sorex palustris

  4. Glacier Bay Water Shrew  ______
    Sorex alaskanus 

    Sorex alaskanus
    is endemic to Alaska. 

  5. Tundra Shrew  ______  ANWR
    Sorex tundrensis

    Sorex tundrensis
    live on the wet tundra and in forests. 

  6. Barren Ground Shrew  ______  ANWR
    Sorex ugyunak

    Sorex ugyunak
    lives on the wet tundra and in forests.

  7. Pribilof Island Shrew  (t2) (*)  ______
    Sorex pribilofensis 
    (name changed in 1997 from Sorex hydrodromus)

    Sorex pribilofensis is endemic to the Pribilof Islands.

  8. Montane (or Dusky) Shrew  ______  ANWR
    Sorex monticolus

    Sorex monticolus
    lives in wet meadows and forests south of the Brooks Range.  

  9. Tiny Shrew  ______
    Sorex yukonicus

    The Tiny Shrew was described in 1997. The species is endemic to Alaska. 


  10. Snowshoe Hare  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Lepus americanus

    The Snowshoe Hare lives in forests and shrub thickets.

  11. Alaskan Hare  (*)  ______
    Lepus othus

  12. European Rabbit  (i)  ______
    Oryctolagus cuniculus

    An introduced species in Alaska, the European Rabbit occurs in and around some urban and suburban localities.

  13. Collared Pika  (*)  ______
    Ochotona collaris


  14. Arctic Ground Squirrel  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    (formerly Urocitellus) parryii

    The Arctic Ground Squirrel lives in well-drained areas.

    Arctic Ground Squirrel
    (photo by Howard Eskin)

  15. American Red Squirrel  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

    The American Red Squirrel lives in forests.

  16. Northern Flying Squirrel  ______
    Glaucomys sabrinus

  17. Hoary Marmot  (*)  ______  
    Marmota caligata

    In Alaska, February 2nd is celebrated as "Marmot Day".

  18. Alaska Marmot  ______  ANWR
    Marmota broweri 

    The Alaska Marmot lives in rocky, mountainous areas.

  19. Woodchuck  (ph) (*)  ______  
    Marmota monax ochracea


  20. North American Porcupine  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Erethizon dorsatum 
    (the single member of its genus)

    The North American Porcupine lives in forests and shrub thickets. 

    North American Porcupine
    (photo by Doris Potter)


  21. Muskrat  (ph) (*)  ______   ANWR
    Ondatra zibethicus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    The Muskrat lives in ponds and marshes south of the Brooks Range.

    (photo by Doris Potter)


  22. American Beaver  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Castor canadensis

    The American Beaver lives in lakes and rivers south of the Brooks Range.   

    American Beaver
    (photo by Doris Potter)


  23. Meadow Jumping Mouse  ______
    Zapus hudsonius

  24. North American Deermouse  ______
    Peromyscus maniculatus

  25. Northwestern (or Forest) Deermouse  ______ 
    Peromyscus keeni

  26. Bushy-tailed Woodrat  ______
    Neotoma cinerea 

  27. Brown (or Norway) Rat  (i)  ______
    Rattus norvegicus

  28. House Mouse  (i)  ______
    Mus musculus 

  29. Northern Red-backed Vole  ______  ANWR
    Clethrionomys rutilus

    The Northern Red-backed Vole lives on the tundra and in forests.  

  30. Southern Red-backed Vole  ______
    Clethrionomys gapperi

    The Southern Red-backed Vole occurs in southeastern Alaska.

  31. Western Heather Vole  ______
    Phenacomys intermedius

    The first Western Heather Vole specimen in Alaska was identified in 1999 near Hyder. 

  32. Long-tailed Vole  ______
    Microtus longicaudus

    The Long-tailed Vole is in the interior of southeastern Alaska.

  33. Taiga Vole  (*)  ______  ANWR
    (formerly Aulacamys) xanthognathus

    The Taiga Vole is also called the Yellow-cheeked Vole. It lives in forests and wet areas.

  34. Singing Vole  (*)  ______  ANWR
    (formerly Stenocranius) miurus

    In Alaska, there are 4 subspecies of the Singing Vole.

    The Singing Vole lives in well-drained tundra and shrub thickets near water.  

  35. Tundra (or Root) Vole  (*)  ______  ANWR
    (formerly Pallasiinus) occonomus

    The Tundra Vole lives in meadows near water.

  36. Meadow Vole  ______  ANWR
    Microtus pennsylvanicus

    The Meadow Vole lives in meadows and open forests south of the Brooks Range.

  37. Northern Bog Lemming  ______  ANWR
    Synatomys borealis

    The Northern Bog Lemming lives in wet areas, forests, and meadows south of the Brooks Range.

  38. North American Brown Lemming  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Lemmus trimucronatus

    The North American Brown Lemming lives in well-drained raised areas in wet sedge tundra.

  39. Northern Collared Lemming  ______  ANWR
    Dicrostonyx groenlandicus

    The Northern Collared Lemming lives in sedge tundra. 


  40. Silver-haired Bat  (ph)  ______
    Lasionycteris noctivagans 

    The Silver-haired Bat occurs only in southeastern Alaska, and only in the winter.

  41. Little Brown Myotis  ______
    Myotis lucifugus


  42. Canadian Lynx  ______  ANWR
    Lynx canadensis

    The Canadian Lynx lives in forests.

  43. Puma  (ph)  ______  
    Puma concolor

    Other names for Puma concolor include Cougar and Mountain Lion.

    The Puma in not known to breed in Alaska, but it does seem to wander into the state. There are generally two or three sightings in Alaska per year, mostly in the southeast. But reports have been as far north and west as Homer.  


  44. Gray Wolf  ______  ANWR
    Canis lupus

    There are two subspecies of the Gray Wolf in Alaska: the Mackenzie Valley Wolf, and the Arctic Wolf.

    In ANWR:
    the Gray Wolf occurs in all habitats.

    Wolves in southeastern Alaska are darker and smaller than those in the north.

    Domestic Dog  ______  (a descendent of the Wolf)
    Canis lupus familaris

    The Dog was the first domesticated animal to reach Alaska, and probably North America, about 20,000 years ago or earlier.
    Some dogs native to Alaska include: Malamutes, Huskies, and Klee Kais.

  45. Coyote  (ph)  ______  ANWR
    Canis latranus

    have only been seen in Alaska since the early 20th Century. But since then, it spread across much of the state.

    In ANWR: the Coyote is rare in open areas. 

  46. Red Fox  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Vulpes vulpes

    In ANWR:
    the Red Fox occurs in all habitats. 

  47. Arctic Fox  (*)  ______  ANWR
    (or Alopex) lagopus

    In ANWR: the Arctic Fox occurs on the tundra north of the mountains.


  48. American Black Bear  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Ursus americanus

    American Black Bears
    occur in Alaska in a few different shades of colors such as black, brown, cinnamon, and even a rare blue shade.


    Eastern Black Bear, Ursus americanus americanus  ______ 
    from Alaska south and east through Canada to the Atlantic and south to Texas
    Queen Charlotte Black Bear, Ursus americanus carlottae  ______
    islands in southeastern Alaska and British Columbia, larger than its mainland counterparts; only occurs as a black color phase
    Glacier Bear, Ursus americanus emmonsii  ______ 
    southeast Alaska, distinguished by the fur of its flanks being silvery-gray with a blue luster
    Kenai Black Bear, Ursus americanus perniger  (*)  ______ 
    on the Kenai Peninsula 
    Dall Black Bear, Ursus americanus pugnax  ______ 
    on islands of the Alexander Archipelago

    In ANWR: the Black Bear lives in forests.

    American Black Bear

  49. Grizzly (or Brown) Bear  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Ursus arctos

    About 70 per cent of the North American Brown Bear population is in Alaska. Most of them in the state are the Grizzly Bear, the subspecies of the Brown Bear throughout North America.  
    But Kodiak Island, Alaska is the home of the Kodiak Bear, the largest subspecies of all the Brown Bears, and second only to the Polar Bear (below) in size.  

    (although some say there are only 2 subspecies in the state: U. a, horribilis & U. a. middendorffi.)

    Alaskan Brown Bear, Ursus arctos dalli  ______
    Peninsula Giant Bear, Ursus arctos gyas  ______ 
    on the Alaska Peninsula 
    Grizzly Bear,
    Ursus arctos horribilis  (*)  ______  includes former subspecies U. a. alascensis 
    Kodiak Bear, Ursus arctos middendorffi (*)  ______
    this subspecies is said to include the Kenai Bear and others along the southern Alaskan coast east to where U. a, dalli occurs in the upper Alaskan panhandle; those on Kodiak Island are the largest    
    Sitka Islands Bear, Ursus arctos sitkensis  ______

    As noted above with an (*), two of these subspecies have been seen during FONT tours.  

    In ANWR:
    Ursus arctos lives in valleys, on plateaus, and in open areas.  

    A Grizzly Bear in Alaska
    (photo by Howard Eskin)

    Fish, like these Sockeye Salmon, 
    are fed upon by bears in Alaska. 

  50. Polar Bear  (t3)  ______  ANWR
    Ursus maritimus

    In Alaska, the Polar Bear lives along the Arctic coast and on ocean ice.  


  51. Raccoon  (i) (ph)  ______
    Procyon lotor

    The Raccoon was introduced in Alaska in the 1930s for the fur trade. Today, there is a very small, but stable, population in the southwestern part of the state.  


  52. American Marten  ______  ANWR
    Marten americana

    The American Marten lives in forests. 

  53. Wolverine  ______  ANWR
    Gula gula

    The Wolverine lives in forests and on the tundra.

  54. Least Weasel  ______  ANWR
    Mustela nivalis

    The Least Weasel lives in open, wet areas.

  55. Ermine  ______  ANWR
    Mustela erminea

    Other names for Mustela erminea are Short-tailed Weasel and Stoat. It lives in open forests and on the tundra. 

  56. American Mink  (ph)  ______  ANWR
    Mustela vison

    In ANWR:
    the American Mink lives in wet areas south of the mountains. 

    American Mink
    (photo by Howard Eskin)

  57. Northern River Otter  ______  ANWR
    Lontra canadensis

    In ANWR:
    the Northern River Otter lives in rivers and lakes mainly south of the mountains.

  58. Sea Otter  (t2) (ph) (*)  ______
    Enlrydra lutris 
    (the single member of its genus)


    Sea Otters


  59. Northern Fur Seal  (t3) (ph) (*)  ______
    Callorhinus ursinnus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    A Northern Fur Seal, photographed during a FONT Tour in Alaska on the Pribilof Islands

  60. Northern (or Steller's) Sea Lion  (nt) (*)  ______
    Eumetopias jubatus 
    (the single member of its genus)

  61. Walrus  (nt)  (ph) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Odobenus rosmarus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    In ANWR: the Walrus is rare along the coast. 

  62. Harbor Seal  (ph) (*)  ______
    Phoca vitulina

  63. Spotted Seal  ______  ANWR
    Phoca largha

    In ANWR: the Spotted Seal occurs in coastal waters and on ocean ice. 

  64. Ringed Seal  (*)  ______  ANWR
    (formerly Phoca) hispida

    In ANWR: the Ringed Seal occurs on ocean ice along the coast.   

  65. Ribbon Seal  (t3)  ______
    (formerly Phoca) fasicata  (the single member of its genus)

  66. Bearded Seal  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Erignathus barbatus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    In ANWR: the Bearded Seal occurs in coastal waters and on ocean ice.

  67. Northern Elephant Seal  ______
    Mirounga angustirostris


  68. Moose  (ph) (*)  ______   ANWR
    Alces alces 
    (the single member of its genus)

    The subspecies of the Moose in Alaska, Alces alces gigas, is the largest in the world. Males weigh up to 1,600 pounds, and females up to 1,300 pounds.

    The Moose lives in forests, shrub thickets, and wet areas.  

  69. Reindeer  (i) (ph) (*)  ______
    Rangifer tarandus 
    (domesticated form of the Caribou)

  70. Barren Ground Caribou  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Rangifer tarandus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    In ANWR: the Barren Ground Caribou lives in all habitats

  71. American Bison  (i) (ph)  ______
    Bison bison

    A subspecies of the American Bison, Bison bison athabascae, the "Wood Bison" once occurred natively in Alaska, but no longer.

    The American Bison now in Alaska were introduced in the state in 1928.
    In 2003, there were approximately 900 wild American Bison in Alaska. They can be seen on their summer range from the Richardson Highway south of Delta Junction, on the Delta Junction Bison Range.


  72. Muskox  (i) (*)  ______  ANWR
    Ovibus moschatus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    In ANWR: the Musk Ox lives on the tundra north of the mountains. 

  73. Mountain Goat  (*)  ______ 
    Orcamnus americanus 
    (the single member of its genus)

  74. Dall's Sheep  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Ovis dalli

    The Dall's Sheep lives on rocky slopes and meadows in the mountains.


    Above & below: Dall's, or White Sheep in the area of the Denali National Park.
    (Photographed in June 2013 by Mark Felber) 


  75. Dall's Porpoise  (*)  ______
    Phocoenoides dalli 
    (the single member of its genus)

  76. Harbor Porpoise  (*)  ______
    Phocoena phocoena vomenna 
    (subspecies in the northeast Pacific)

  77. Pacific White-sided Dolphin  ______
    Lagenorhynchus obliquidens


  78. Humpback Whale  (ph) (*)  ______
    Megaptera novaangliae 
    (the single member of its genus)

    Below: three photographs of Humpback Whales 

  79. Blue Whale  (t2)  (ph)  ______
    Balaenoptera musculus

  80. Fin Whale  (t2) (ph)  ______
    Balaenoptera physalus

  81. Sei Whale  (t2)  ______
    Balaenoptera borealis

  82. Northern Minke Whale  (ph)  ______
    Balaenoptera acutorostrata

  83. Gray Whale  (*)  ______  ANWR
    Eschrichtius robustus 
    (the single member of its genus)

    In ANWR: the Gray Whale is rare in coastal waters. 

  84. Bowhead Whale  ______  ANWR
    Balaena mysticetus

    In ANWR:
    the Bowhead Whale is in coastal waters.

  85. Great Sperm Whale  (t3) (ph)  ______
    Physeter catodon

  86. Killer Whale  (ph) (*)  ______
    Orcinus orca 
    (the single member of its genus)

    Orcinus orca is also called the Orca.

  87. Beluga  (nt)  ______  ANWR
    Delphinapterus leucas

    The Cook Inlet population of the Beluga (near Anchorage) is found in the inlet and in the Shelikof Strait region, and numbers about 400 to 500 animals. 

    In ANWR: the Beluga lives in coastal waters.

  88. Short-finned Pilot Whale  (ph)  ______
    Globicephala macrorhynchus

  89. Stejneger's Beaked Whale  ______
    Mesoplodon stejnegei

    Other names for Mesoplodon stejnegei are Bering Sea Beaked Whale and Saber-toothed Whale.

  90. Baird's Beaked Whale  (ph)  ______
    Berardius bairdii

  91. Cuvier's Beaked Whale  (ph)  ______
    Ziphius cavirostris

    Ziphius cavirostris
    is also called the Goosebeak Whale. In Alaska, it occurs as far north as the Aleutians.

  92. Human  (*)  ______
    Homo sapiens

    began to inhabit Alaska at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period, around 12,000 B.C., when Asiatic groups crossed the Bering Land Bridge into what is now western Alaska.

    Now, 670,000 humans live in Alaska. About 20 per cent of them are "American Indian" or "Alaska Native".