Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge
The powerful Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers dominate the refuge, the second largest in the nation. In spring and fall, the broad river deltas and wetlands nurture a massive number of migrating ducks, geese, swans, cranes, and shorebirds. A narrow strip of coastline between Nelson Island and the Ashinuk Mountains is the world’s primary nesting habitat for four species of geese: black brant, emperor, cackling, and Pacific greater white-fronted. Steep cliffs on the southwest coast of Nunivak Island host upwards of one million seabirds. Roughly 500 muskoxen share the rest of Nunivak Island with a commercial herd of reindeer. Moose, caribou, bears, and wolves inhabit the northern hills and eastern mountains.
Walrus, whales, and seals migrate offshore in spring. Hooper Bay and Chevak are good shorebird viewing spots. Float the Andreafsky River to see wildlife from a different angle. The city of Emmonak offers Lower Yukon River boat tours. Several guides based in Mekoryuk lead excursions on Nunivak Island.
Anchorage and Fairbanks offer airline service to Bethel, St. Mary’s, and Aniak. All delta villages can be reached from Bethel via daily scheduled and /or charter flights.
Visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website or (907) 543-3151