State of Alaska Special Status Species
State of Alaska Endangered Species
The State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is responsible for determining and maintaining a list of endangered species in Alaska under AS 16.20.190. A species or subspecies of fish or wildlife is considered endangered when the Commissioner of ADF&G determines that its numbers have decreased to such an extent as to indicate that its continued existence is threatened.
The State Endangered Species List currently includes two birds (Short-tailed Albatross and Eskimo Curlew) and three marine mammals (blue whale, humpback whale, and right whale). You can find information on the ecology, life history, identification, uses, research, and management for these five species by clicking on the species name in the list to the right.
The five State-listed species are also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Additional information about how these species became listed under the federal ESA can be found on the Federal Endangered Species page. The federal list may change as the population status of listed species changes over time. For example, the worldwide population of humpback whales was originally listed as endangered in 1972. In 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service divided the humpback species into 14 Distinct Population Segments, or DPSs), only some of which were then listed as threatened or endangered, while other DPSs were removed from the list because the population has recovered.
Protection of Habitat
By law, the Commissioners of the Alaska Departments of Fish and Game and Natural Resources must take measures to preserve the natural habitat of fish and wildlife species that are recognized as threatened with extinction. You can find details on protection of habitat in AS 16.20.185.
To determine if your project will impact federally listed threatened or endangered species in Alaska, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. These two federal agencies are responsible for maintaining the official lists of threatened and endangered species. These agencies also conduct formal and informal Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations for projects that may impact threatened and endangered species. If you need an official determination regarding whether ESA-listed species may occur in your project area, please contact one or both of these federal agencies.
For more information on species listed as endangered under the State of Alaska endangered species statute, contact the Acting ADF&G Endangered Species Coordinator at (907) 267-2877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.