Katmai was originally designated a National Monument in 1918 to preserve the features associated with one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions ever recorded. Later expansions and the change in status to Park and Preserve were not focused around geologic activity but rather on the importance of protecting Katmai's remarkable wildlife. One of the primary purposes of Katmai National Park and Preserve, based on legislation, is to: protect habitats for and populations of fish and wildlife, including, but not limited to, high concentrations of brown bears and their denning areas, and maintain unimpaired the watersheds and water habitat vital to red salmon spawning. Explore the links below to learn more about Katmai’s wildlife.
Birds: The Alaska Peninsula is one of the best places in North America to watch birds.
Fish: Every summer, Katmai’s waters fill with salmon returning from the ocean to spawn.
Mammals: 42 species of mammals inhabit the park including the famous brown bear.
Did You Know?
Migratory birds begin returning from their wintering grounds in March. Along the Naknek River, thousands and thousands of waterfowl, like tundra swans, gather on pockets of open water as they wait for the region's wetlands to thaw.