The Alaskan wilderness boasts some of the most diverse and abundant wildlife in America. Its mountains, tundra and plains hold iconic species of bear, caribou and moose, and its coasts provide a safe haven for millions of migratory birds. Its rivers are populated by Pacific salmon and its seas shelter several species of whale. However, these species are threatened by the combined effects of expanding development, global climate change and the destruction of habitat. NFWF's Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund supports conservation efforts for imperiled arctic wildlife and the places they need to survive.
Since 2008, NFWF's Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund has supported local efforts in Alaska to protect, enhance and restore fish and wildlife habitat. The program also awards funds directed to NFWF through community service payments from court settlements of various federal pollution cases in Alaska.
The Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund's priorities include:
- Habitat, ecosystem function and/or species studies;
- Species of special concern;
- Projects that evaluate and/or mitigate the impacts of climate change;
- Protection or restoration of coastal watersheds, estuarine and near-shore marine habitats;
- Projects that benefit multiple species, both resident and migratory;
- Opportunities for hands-on volunteer or local citizen-based participation or education.
Projects funded through the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund have included beluga whale research and monitoring, polar bear den location and population studies, sea duck population studies, and documentation of traditional ecological knowledge by Alaska native communities. The Fund has awarded almost $9 million in grants to 94 projects. These projects have leveraged almost $10 million in additional funds and in-kind contributions, resulting in $19.5 million for conservation and wildlife research in Alaska.
The Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund is a partnership of NFWF and several corporate donors, including ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.