The tundra around Kaktovik supports Caribou, while three species of bear (Polar, Grizzly and Brown) are often found in and around the village. Whales can be seen from the shore, but Bruce also does whale watching trips in his boat; regularly sighted are belugas and bowhead whales, with grey whales seen occasionally.
Bruce has great knowledge of the bears and caribou and is proud that he has never had to harm a polar bear.


The lagoons South, West and East of Barter Island provide a haven for many birds, with Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Yellow-Legged Goose and Speckled Belly Goose often encountered. Ivory gulls may be seen inland. Bruce describes the lagoons as 'birdwatcher's heaven'.
On the sea can be found teal, guillemots, king eider and common eiders amongst other birds. The beautiful long-tailed duck is also a regular, and is called 'aqhalik' in the Inupiat language.

Flora / Fauna

The plant life of the tundra is varied, with late summer the best time of year to see flowering plants. Global warming has encouraged species previously not seen in this area and so viewing the tundra now is recommended.

See a photo slide show.

Click on the arrows below to move forward.
All the photos are copyright © Steven Kazlowski/


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player