Chamisso Wilderness

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Chamisso Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Chamisso Wilderness.jpg
Chamisso Island
Map showing the location of Chamisso Wilderness
Map showing the location of Chamisso Wilderness
LocationNorthwest Arctic Borough, Alaska, United States
Coordinates66°13′28″N 161°49′30″W / 66.22444°N 161.82500°W / 66.22444; -161.82500Coordinates: 66°13′28″N 161°49′30″W / 66.22444°N 161.82500°W / 66.22444; -161.82500
Area455 acres (184 ha)
Governing bodyUS Fish and Wildlife Service

Chamisso Wilderness is a 455-acre (184 ha) wilderness area in the U.S. state of Alaska. It was designated by the United States Congress in 1975.

A small subunit of the Chukchi Sea Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Chamisso Island and nearby Puffin Island were combined as a wildlife refuge in 1912, designated Wilderness in 1975, and added to the AMNWR in 1980.[1]

Chamisso Island, named after the naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso, comprises one large sand spit and a low beach zone surrounding a covering of tundra with a few marshy bogs. Although Chamisso Island is much larger, Puffin Island houses many more nesting birds, especially horned puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and thick-billed murres which build their nests on the steep-walled cliffs that fall into Spafarief Bay. Iñupiat cross from the mainland to gather eggs, primarily from kittiwakes and murres. With the exception of birds and the occasional fox that crosses frozen sea in winter, nothing lives on the islands that make up Chamisso Wilderness. Walruses, seals, and whales can often be seen in Spafarief Bay.[1]


  1. ^ a b Chamisso Wilderness -

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