A wide variety of animal life can be found in Alaska. From the polar bear to the otter to the bowhead whale, Alaska is teeming with unique life in the animal kingdom. However, some of the wildlife in this Northern land is in danger. Environmental and human threats are providing for a grave outlook on the future of this once lush and fascinating world. This article will explore some of the endangered animals of Alaska as well as some of the causes of the threats to their lives.
Brown bears once inhabited the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska in large numbers. However, due to a decline in their quality of habitat the brown bear is on the list of endangered animals. The Kenai Peninsula is being developed by for residential, commercial and recreational uses and thus is reducing the chances of survival for the brown bear of Alaska. Human development is pushing this sublime creature from its home and leaving it no options for survival as they take over. It was once thought that Alaska would always be a sanctuary for these animals but it seems no place is to far for the destructive reach of humanity.
The American Peregrine Falcon is one of the top predators in the food chain as they feed on other, smaller birds. The technique in which they hunt is impressive as they swoop in at high speeds and at extreme angles. They are powerful predators in Alaska. However, they have been less abundant not only in Alaska but in every location they inhabit from Mexico to Alaska due to pesticide ingestion. The most commonly known pesticide is DDT and though efforts have been made to decrease and hopefully eliminate the use of DDT the American Peregrine Falcon is decorating the skyline of Alaska much less.
The Bowhead Whale has made it to both the Alaska endangered species list and the Federal endangered species list. Bowhead whales only live in and around Arctic waters. However, due to commercial whaling the Bowhead whale in around the waters of Alaska is a rare sight. The Bowhead whale was declared an endangered species in 1973 and since commercial whaling has ceased. However, the numbers are not yet reassuring.
Sea otters, who reside in the coastal waters of Alaska, were near extinction in the 18th and 19th century due to hunting. They made a valiant recovery only to be put back on both the Federal and Alaska list of endangered species in the 1990’s. However, there is some dispute as to how threatened they are, as they seem to be thriving in the Southeast areas of Alaska.
The Stellar Sea Lion is listed as an Alaska species of special concern and a Federal threatened species. Stellar sea lions are a large seal. The cause of the decline of stellar sea lions is unknown though there has been talk of disease, environmental circumstances and more.
It is plain to see that Alaska as it once was is disappearing due to the destructive touch of humanity. There have been several organization put in place to aid in the restoration of species such as mentioned in this article, but the question is if it is enough to stop the disappearance of this world before it is too late.