Alaska has 12 species of big game, including some not found (muskox, Dall sheep) or very rare (brown bear, caribou), in the other 49 states. Approximately 175,000 - 200,000 moose; 900,000 caribou; 60,000-80,000 Dall sheep; 30,000 brown bears; over 100,000 black bears, 7,000 - 11,000 wolves, 4,000 musk-oxen; 18,000-23,000 mountain goats; 350,000-400,000 black-tailed deer, 1,300 elk and 900 bison inhabit the state.
Also abundant are 19 species of furbearers, including wolf and wolverine (which are rarely found in the other 49 states); three species of ptarmigan; four species of grouse; two species of hares and many species of waterfowl, migratory birds, raptors and marine mammals.
Diverse and abundant wildlife are central to Alaska's economy and people. Over 1,000 vertebrate species inhabit the state, sometimes in huge numbers. On the copper river Delta alone, five to eight million shorebirds stop to forage and rest each spring on their way to arctic bredding grounds. Alaska has 32 species of carnivores, more than any other state.
Most of Alaska's fish and wildlife populations are considered healthy. In the rest of the nation, more than 400 species are listed as threatened or endangered. In Alaska, only 20 species are listed as threatened or endangered.