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Arctic Foothills Tundra
Brooks Range Mountains ANWR.jpg
Arctic foothills tundra map.svg
1104. Arctic Foothills Tundra
Realm Nearctic
Biome Tundra
Borders Arctic coastal tundra, Brooks-British Range tundra, Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga and Northwest Territories taiga
Bird species 64
Mammal species 31
Area 123,512 km2 (47,688 sq mi)
Country United States
State Alaska
Rivers Noatak River, Colville River
Conservation status Relatively Stable/Intact
Global 200 Yes
Habitat loss 0%
Protected 67.8%

The Arctic foothills tundra is an ecoregion of the far north of North America, lying inland from the north coast of Alaska. This is permafrost tundra with an average annual temperature below freezing.


This is a hilly area that lies between the boggier Arctic coastal tundra to the north and the Brooks Range to the south, and stretching from the Chukchi Sea east across northern Alaska to the border with Canada's Yukon Territory. The Noatak River valley is the only forested area.


The main vegetation is the scrubby cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), stiff sedge (Carex bigelowii) and shrubs such as Betula nana, Empetrum nigrum, Rhododendron subarcticum, and the berry Vaccinium vitis-idaea.


The Colville River is a migration route for wildlife including moose, and a breeding area for gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, and rough-legged hawks. The ecoregion is also home to a number of waterbirds. Mammals include the large ungulates moose (Alces alces) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), the predators brown bear (Ursus arctos) and wolf (Canis lupus) breed here, while smaller mammals include Alaskan hare (Lepus othus) and Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryi).

Threats and preservation

This ecoregion is unspoilt except that it is crossed by the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which can disrupt migratory behaviour of some wildlife. The east end of the ecoregion is part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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