Melanie Smith, Director of Conservation Science,
Beth Peluso, Communications Manager,


ANCHORAGE, AK –Where can you find the highest number of bird species in Southeast Alaska? Where does the habitat of brown and black bears overlap? Audubon Alaska’s newest publication, the Ecological Atlas of Southeast Alaska, answers these questions and more through maps and written descriptions. We’ll be exploring the atlas and what stories it tells at the Baranof Island Brewery in Sitka on October 12 at 6:00pm and at the October 13 Juneau Audubon talk at 7:00pm.

Audubon Alaska researched data and compiled information from researchers and agencies to create 56 new maps that visualize the landscape of Southeast, from human uses such as airports and ferry routes to wildlife uses such as bird and salmon habitat.

For many years, Audubon Alaska has studied Southeast, applying science and spatial analysis to understand regional patterns and to identify key areas for conservation. The atlas continues our past work contributing to a scientific understanding of the Tongass, such as the 2007 Audubon-The Nature Conservancy Conservation Assessment and Resource Synthesis for the Coastal Forests and Mountains Ecoregion (Schoen and Dovichin, eds.); the 2009 Tongass Science Conference held in Juneau; and the 2013 North Pacific Temperate Rainforests book (Orians and Schoen, eds.).

In the Ecological Atlas, we built upon the information in those previous works. We improved datasets such as forest vegetation, anadromous fish distribution, salt marsh estuaries, and Important Bird Areas. We included new information, such as projected climate change, mammal and bird viewing hotspots, metals mining, and infrastructure. The publication includes photos and charts that accompany the maps and writing, and ends with a conservation summary and set of management recommendations based on the information included.

You can view a digital version of the atlas and download digital files on our website. Print copies will be available for viewing at the Juneau and Sitka events, or you can contact Heidi DeCoeur at 907-276-7034 or at the Audubon Alaska office about ordering a copy.

Audubon Alaska hopes this publication will serve as a guide to the physical, ecological, and human use patterns of the region and foster long-term sustainable management for Southeast Alaska.


Since 1977, Audubon Alaska's mission is to conserve the spectacular natural ecosystems of the state, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Audubon Alaska uses science to identify conservation priorities and support conservation actions and policies, with an emphasis on public lands and waters.

Now in its second century, the National Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. Audubon Alaska, a state office of the National Audubon Society, has worked to conserve birds in the state since 1977.

How you can help, right now