Hey kids! There are many cool animals and plants in Katmai National Park. Let's see if you know what some of them are. Read the descriptions below and then click on the link to find out the answer.
I am a large mammal that can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and can stand up to 9 feet tall on my hind legs. I generally sleep through the winter when food is unavailable or scarce. I will eat salmon, berries, grasses, sedges, roots and even ground squirrels during the times that I’m active.
I am an important food resource for brown bears who can gain a lot of weight by eating me because I’m packed with calories. I spend 2-3 years in the ocean growing bigger before returning to the river or creek I was born in. I die after I spawn and my decomposing flesh supplies nutrients to the watersheds and forests around me.
I am the largest member of the deer family, standing at 6-7 feet at the shoulder. My huge antlers are flat and resemble paddles. I prefer to browse on buds, twigs, bark, and leafy vegetation. I often am seen in or near water where I submerge to find food or get rid of pesky insects. I can run 35 mph.
My wingspan can be as wide as 7 feet and when mature I have a white head and tail feathers. I mainly eat fish but will also prey on small mammals, reptiles and other birds. Sometimes my nest can weigh up to 1000 pounds because I reuse it and add new branches often.
I am a small resident of Katmai, only about .25 inches (6mm) long. I live in the spruce trees that are found in many of Katmai’s forests and I feed off of the sugary inner bark of the tree. I only live for about two years before I die, but that’s long enough to do a lot of damage to the tree I’ve been living in.
I am a solitary mammal, and one of the shyest animals within Katmai. I use dense forests to camouflage myself and my large paws help me quietly move on top of the snow while I am hunting. Snowshoe hares are a large part of my diet, but I’ll eat birds, rodents and sometimes larger animals as well.
Despite my beauty, I am the most poisonous plant native to North America. Alaska natives used to dip their spears in the mashed up root of the plant and hunt whales with the poison-laden spears. The poison is a neurotoxin and made it much easier for an Alutiiq hunter to kill a whale by himself.