- This vast refuge includes over 3,000 islands, islets, rocks, pinnacles and headlands stretching from northwest Alaska into the Bering Sea and along 4,800 miles of Alaska's coastline and the Aleutian chain. About 2.5 million acres are designated Wilderness. In addition to marine shorelines and rocks, refuge habitats vary from lush rainforests in Southeast Alaska to 9,000 foot volcanoes and arctic coastal escarpments underlain by permafrost. Over 40 million seabirds (80 percent of all Alaska seabirds) of about 30 species are found on the refuge. Aleutian Canada geese, once endangered, are recovering under refuge management. Common marine mammals include northern fur seal, Steller sea lion, harbor seal, walrus, sea otter, and polar bear. Whales are common in nearshore waters. The refuge contains many Aleut archeological sites as well as remnants of the only World War II battles fought on U.S. soil. The refuge operates the 120-foot research vessel, M/V Tiglax, to carry out biological work throughout the refuge and as far west as the coast of Siberia.
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