Largest of all Alaskan refuges, the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge occupies the huge delta of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in western Alaska.
The terrain is mostly low-lying marshlands with interlaced river channels, oxbows, and tens of thousands of lakes and ponds.
The Delta is a premier waterfowl area supporting enormous numbers of water birds: over 750,000 swans and geese, 2 million ducks, and 100 million shorebirds and other water birds. Moose, caribou, black and grizzly bear and wolves are common in certain areas. Refuge rivers abound in fish.
Introduced muskox and reindeer occupy 1.1 million acre Nunivak Island within the refuge.
Accessible only by aircraft or boat, most of the refuge is lightly visited by outsiders, although rafting, hunting, and fishing are popular in some areas. Local residents, mostly Yupi'k Eskimos, depend heavily upon refuge waterfowl and other wildlife, fish, and plant resources for sustenance.