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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge UPSC NOTE

 

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) or Arctic Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in northeastern Alaska, United States, on traditional Gwich'in lands. 

  • The refuge is 19,286,722 acres of the Alaska North Slope region, with a northern coastline and vast inland forest, taiga, and tundra regions.

  • ANWR is the largest national wildlife refuge in the country, slightly larger than the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • The refuge is administered from offices in Fairbanks. 

  • ANWR is home to a diverse range of endemic mammal species.

  • Notably, it is one of the few North American locations with all three endemic American ursids—the polar bear, grizzly bear, and American black bear, each of which resides predominantly in its own ecological niche.

  • Hundreds of species of migratory birds visit the refuge yearly, and it is a vital, protected breeding location for them. 

  • Climate change is rapidly affecting the Arctic region, with melting polar ice caps leading to rising sea levels and warming due to the albedo effect. 

  • The potential oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge threatens the Porcupine caribou herd's calving grounds.

Reindeer

Reindeer

  • The reindeer or caribou is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of Northern Europe, Siberia, and North America.

  • This includes both sedentary and migratory populations. 

  • It is the only representative of the genus Rangifer. 

  • Herd size varies greatly in different geographic regions. 

  • More recent studies suggest the splitting of reindeer and caribou into six distinct species over their range.

  • Reindeer are the only successfully semi-domesticated deer on a large scale in the world.

  • Both wild and domestic reindeer have been an important source of food, clothing, and shelter for Arctic people throughout history and are still herded and hunted today.

  • Conservation status - IUCN - Vulnerable

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge UPSC NOTE
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge UPSC NOTE
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