As part of the Alaska Natural Heritage Program, the zoology program assimilates and synthesizes information concerning terrestrial vertebrates to aid land management planning and species conservation in Alaska. The program is involved in many areas related to wildlife biology, including habitat modeling, field surveys, collection of biological data, conservation assessments, and biogeography of rare and invasive animals.
The zoology program is a central repository of biological information on rare animal species in Alaska and tracks occurrence records and range data for over 760 animal species. These data are publicly available through the Biotics Animal Data Portal. The program also maintains habitat distribution models for over 330 vertebrate animal species, available through the Alaska GAP Analysis Project. Through a partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the zoology program is currently working on status assessments for all vertebrate species occurring in Alaska or Alaska’s coastal waters. These reports will soon be available through the Alaska Species Ranking System.
The zoology program tracks and maintains current information and status ranks on species with the greatest conservation concern. Status ranks are continually being updated for species within Alaska with funding support from the University of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Threatened Endangered and Diversity Program. Within the zoology program, vertebrate species are assigned conservation status ranks that adhere to protocols developed by NatureServe.