BCR 2 - Western Alaska

BCR2 MapThis region consists of the Subarctic Coastal Plain of western Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula Mountains. Wet and mesic graminoid herbaceous communities dominate the lowlands and numerous ponds, lakes, and rivers dot the landscape. Tall shrub communities are found along rivers and streams and low shrub communities occupy uplands. Forests of spruce and hardwoods penetrate the region on the eastern edge. Permafrost is continuous except in southern parts of the region. High densities of breeding waterfowl and shorebirds are found on the coastal plain of the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. Intertidal areas here and lagoons of the north side of the Alaska Peninsula supports millions of shorebirds during migration, including Dunlin, Western Sandpiper, Red Knot, and Bar-tailed Godwit. The coast of the Alaska Peninsula supports high concentrations of wintering sea ducks including Steller's Eider, Harlequin, Oldsquaw, Surf Scoter, and Black Scoter. Passerine diversity is greatest in tall, riparian shrub habitats, where Arctic Warbler, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Blackpoll Warbler nest. Gyrfalcon and Rough-legged Hawk nest along the riverine cliffs. Mainland sea cliffs are occupied by nesting colonies of Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Murre, and Pelagic Cormorant.

ABC-designated Globally Important Bird Areas in this BCR

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge