The National Park Service manages approximately 18% of the U.S. lands above the Arctic Circle, 20.25 million acres protected in five parks, 17.55 million acres of which are mostly connected. This region is critical breeding ground for many shorebirds, some of which migrate thousands of miles to get here. Caribou herds, also migratory, have calving grounds and wintering grounds in the Arctic tundra. Some species are specific to the Arctic, such as polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic foxes, among others. The Arctic is a harsh, yet fragile, environment and the people, plants, and wildlife adapt to the conditions to live there.
Last updated: June 22, 2017