Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge is a 2833 km ² large reserve in the National Wildlife Refuge System of the United States. The Refuge is located in the east of Alaska on the border of Yukon Territory. The Alaska Highway forms the northern border of 105 km. To the west lies the Alaska Range and south include the Wrangell-St Elias National Park. The management of the protected area is located in Tok.
The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge is located in a particular forests, wetlands, tundra, lakes, mountains and glacial rivers landscape. The majority of the area consists of hilly plains, only in the southwest rises with the glaciated Mentasta Mountains a mountain range.
The vegetation of the reserve consists of criss-crossed by rivers and wetlands, boreal forests, tundra and scrub. 115 of 186 sighted bird species such as the Trumpeter Swan who visits the remote lakes and ponds, use the area as a nesting site. 25 species live here in the winter.
Moose feed on the plants of the wetlands and caribou migrate through the Refuge on the way between their summer and winter abodes. Dall sheep live on the mountain slopes in the south. Besides lynx, marten, mink, muskrat, beaver and wolf grizzly and black bear in the Refuge have a habitat.
Until the later 19th century Athabaskan lived largely without contact with the outside world on the Tanana River in the region of present-day reserve. They lived as hunters and gatherers and followed the migration routes of caribou. Russian explorers explored at that time the lower reaches of the Copper River, but without penetrating into the area of the Tanana. It was only in 1885 reached an expedition of the United States Army the valley of the Tanana. Early contacts with Europeans were made with the Athabaskan dealers who navigated the Yukon.
The construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 contributed much to the development of the Tanana Valley. Was founded in 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the National Wildlife Refuge. Unlike most national parks, the reserve also serves the natives, as locals called to allow their traditional way of life.