Flora and Fauna

Alaska's many bioregions contain a wide variety of animal and plant species. The evergreen forests of south coastal and southeast Alaska contain Western hemlock, Sitka spruce, red cedar, Alaska yellow cedar, lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock, black cottonwood, and alder. Bush alder, wild currants, salmonberry, huckleberry, skunk cabbage, bog laurel, Labrador tea, and various

kinds of grasses, mosses, horsetails, lichens, fungi, and wildflowers are also common. In the Aleutians and west coastal regions, there are a few trees and the vegetation consists mainly of dwarf willows and grasses. In the interior regions of the state, white and black spruce, birch, cottonwood, tamarack, aspen, and willow are all found. Vegetation in the tundra regions of north Alaska is limited to grasses, mosses, lichens, berries, and some dwarf birches and willows.

Mammals are common throughout Alaska and include brown, black, grizzly, and polar bears. The Alaskan brown bear found on Kodiak Island is the world's largest type of bear. Moose, wolves, caribou, various kinds of deer and related species, Dall's sheep, coyotes and foxes, wolverines and martens, mink, beaver, land otters, weasels, muskrats, and hares are also found. Bison, muskox, and wapiti (elk) have been introduced to the state from outside. Marine mammals include bowhead whales, sperm whales, belugas, orcas, porpoises, sea otters, walruses, seals, and sea lions. Alaska is home to many kinds of birds, including ducks, geese, swans, cranes, loons, grebes, shearwaters, petrels, gulls, auklets, puffins, bald and golden eagles, ravens, magpies, crows, jays, ptarmigan, grouse, and snowy owls. Alaska contains at least 480 species of fish, 386 of birds, 105 of mammals, seven of amphibians, and three of reptiles.

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