A bear splashes into a stream and emerges with a spawning salmon ... tundra swans glide elegantly across a boggy pond ... a porcupine curls up and shows his quills to a curious hiker ... a sharp-shinned hawk dives on a redback vole ... wolves howl into the winter night. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve teems with wildlife. Among the reasons congress set aside Lake Clark as a national park and preserve was to protect habitat for wilderness dependent populations of fish and wildlife. The area's intact ecosystems support a full complement of sub-arctic wildlife species, none of which are endangered or invasive species.

Close up photo of a red fox's head in profile with an artistically blurred green background.
The red fox is found throughout Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, and much of Alaska.

NPS Photo / Kevyn Jalone



Thirty-seven species of terrestrial mammals are believed to be present in the Lake Clark region and five different marine mammal species use haul-out sites or feeding areas along the coast. To learn more, look through the following links:

A brown bear looks through the grass
Brown Bears

Brown bears occur in all habitats in the park, but are especially concentrated along Cook Inlet coast.

A single brown bear walks across tidal flats with distant mountains
Bear Viewing

Bear viewing is one of the park's most popular activities. Learn more about bear viewing best practices.

A single caribou stands on a grassy hillside

In the Bonanza Hills and around Turquoise, Twin, and Snipe lakes, caribou can be a majestic sight.

A group of white dall sheep on a green mountainside
Dall Sheep

Dall Sheep traverse higher elevations along the western flank of the Chigmit Mountains.

A black bear takes a drink from a body of water while standing on the shoreline
Black Bears

Black bears are found throughout the park and preserve, except at the highest elevations

A moose grazes on pink fireweed flowers

Moose can be found below timberline, especially in boggy and wet areas.

A collared stands next to a shrub in a wooded area

A timeless symbol of wilderness, learn more about Lake Clark's wolves.



From migratory birds that arrive in Lake Clark from wintering grounds around the world, to resident birds that brave Alaska’s long winters like the gray jay and boreal chickadee, over one hundred eighty species of birds have been observed in the park and preserve.
Two swans swimming side by side on an icy lake

Learn about the species of birds that call the Lake Clark area home.



Salmon, rainbow trout, and arctic grayling are among the twenty-five species of freshwater and anadromous fish spend part or all of their lives in the park and preserve’s waterways. Anadromous fish are born in fresh water, spend most of their lives in the ocean, and return to fresh water to spawn. To learn more, look through the following links:

The head of a sockeye salmon above the water
Sockeye Salmon

As a keystone species, sockeye salmon are a critical component in most of Lake Clark's ecosystem.

A person fishes while standing on the float of a seaplane
Sport Fishing

Lake Clark can be an angler's paradise.

Several sockeye salmon swimming underwater
Mercury Levels in Resident Fish

Some fish in Lake Clark may contain unusually high concentrations of mercury.


Viewing Wildlife Ethically - Take The Pledge!

The state of Alaska offers the following wildlife viewing ethics guidelines. Pledge to uphold them and keep the wildlife wild!

  • Give wildlife plenty of space. Binoculars and spotting scopes allow you to view wildlife without getting too close.
  • Approach wildlife slowly, quietly, and indirectly. Always give animals an avenue for retreat.
  • Try to view animals without changing their behavior. Avoid using calls or devices that attract wildlife. Resist the temptation to throw rocks to see a flock fly. Remember - harassing wildlife is illegal.
  • Be respectful of nesting and denning areas, rookeries, and calving grounds. Well-meaning but intrusive visitors may cause parents to flee, leaving young vulnerable to the elements or predators.
  • Leave "orphaned" or sick animals alone. Young animals that appear alone usually have parents waiting nearby.
  • Restrain pets or leave them at home. They may startle, chase, spread disease, or even kill wildlife.
  • Let animals eat their natural foods.
  • Learn to recognize signs of alarm. These are sometimes subtle. Leave if an animal shows them.

See the lists of mammals, fish, birds, and other wildlife species that live in Lake Clark using the search box below.


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Visit NPSpecies for more comprehensive information and advanced search capability. Have a suggestion or comment on this list? Let us know.

Last updated: January 16, 2018

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Suite 236

Anchorage, AK 99501


907 644-3626

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