An insect on a piece of wood

NPS photo/S. Surdyk

Our geographic position combined with an environment unique in the southeastern Alaska rainforest, has led many ecologists to postulate the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park area as a biodiversity "hot spot." Certain animals more common to the interior, such as the pika and arctic ground squirrel, are known to occur in the park valleys. Some botanists propose the head of the Lynn Canal, near Skagway, as the "greatest centre for plant diversity in Alaska" (Pojar & MacKinnon, 1994).

Diagram showing trail profile with corresponding ecozones
The Chilkoot Trail changes from coastal forest at sea level to high alpine near the summit and boreal forest toward the Lake Bennett end.

NPS image/M. Lemke

Biodiversity is an important natural resource at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The natural resources also include the Park's scenic, glacial valleys - and the geologic and environmental processes that are still at work molding the landscape. They include the plants and animals that use the valleys now, and those plants and animals that may naturally expand into the valleys in the future. They also include the natural progression of growth and decay, and the effects of these processes upon the remains of past human endeavors. Finally, they are the setting for people to experience the natural sounds, sights, smells and feel of a special coastal ecosystem.

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in the park, or explore the lists of known species identified by the National Park Service at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.


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Last updated: October 15, 2016

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway, AK 99840


907 983-9200

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