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Alaska offers unparalleled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. The variety and impressive numbers of mammals, birds and marine wildlife in Alaska draw visitors from all over the world.
Keep a Low Profile
Binoculars, a spotting scope, or camera with a telephoto lens allows you to see animals up close without disturbing their natural behaviors. Polarized sunglasses cut the surface glare on water and make it easier to see fish and aquatic life.When hiking, scan for wildlife before stepping into the open of meadows, shorelines and riverbanks. When driving, use your car as a blind rather than jumping right out. Move slowly and quietly. Leave pets at home. Small animals can become prey for eagles and large mammals. Dogs, even when leashed, resemble predators and may disturb wildlife. Enjoy watching animals' natural behaviors. Resist the temptation to attract their attention with sounds. If your presence is causing an animal to stop feeding or act restless, give it more space. Be especially respectful of nesting and denning areas, rookeries and calving grounds, and critical feeding areas.
Look for Clues
Tracks, droppings, trails, and twigs provide clues about wildlife in the area - what they are eating, where they live and when they passed through. Noticing and reading these clues adds richness to wildlife viewing.
Time it Right
Dawn and dusk are when many wildlife species are most active. Midday warmth energizes dragonflies and butterflies and creates thermals for eagles and hawks. Tides also influence coastal wildlife viewing opportunities.Many wildlife species move daily and seasonally in search of food. By learning about feeding habits, you'll have a better sense of where to look for which animals, and when.Help Keep Wildlife Wild
Never feed wild animals. Doing so can cause them to associate people with food, which can get them in trouble in the future. Human food can also make them sick. Leave 'orphaned' or sick animals alone. Young animals that appear to be orphaned usually have parents nearby. If you're concerned, call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Be Considerate of Others
People use and enjoy Alaska's wildlife in a variety of ways. Respect private property and give hunters, anglers, and others plenty of space.
For complete information on what, when and where to view wildlife visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at www.adfg.alaska.gov. Connect to the Wildlife Viewing section to find Alaska businesses.