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The ALASKA PENINSULA is a peninsula extending about 800 km (497 mi) to the southwest from the mainland of Alaska
Alaska
and ending in the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
. The peninsula separates the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
from Bristol Bay , an arm of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
.

In literature (especially Russian) the term ‘ Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula’ was used to denote the entire northwestern protrusion of the North American continent , or all of what is now the state of Alaska
Alaska
, exclusive of its panhandle and islands. The Lake and Peninsula
Peninsula
borough , the Alaskan equivalent of a county , is named after the peninsula.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Administration * 3 Climate * 4 Flora and fauna * 5 Demographics * 6 References * 7 External links

GEOGRAPHY

The Aleutian Range is a highly active volcanic mountain range which runs along the entire length of the Peninsula. Within it lie Wildlife Refuges, including the Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park and Preserve
, the Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve
and the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge , the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula
Peninsula
National Wildlife Refuge , and the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge .

The southern side of the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula
Peninsula
is rugged and mountainous, created by the uplifting tectonic activity of the North Pacific
Pacific
Plate subsiding under a western section of the North American Plate ; the northern side is generally flat and marshy, a result of millennia of erosion and general seismic stability. The northern and southern shores are likewise quite different. The northern Bristol Bay coastal side is generally turbid and muddy, experiences tidal extremes, and is relatively shallow; the Pacific
Pacific
side has relatively small tidal activity and is deep and clear.

ADMINISTRATION

All of the Peninsula
Peninsula
is organized as a part of four adjacent boroughs ; the Aleutians East Borough , Bristol Bay Borough , Kodiak Island Borough , and Lake and Peninsula
Peninsula
Borough . The Lake and Peninsula Borough includes most of the peninsula's territory.

CLIMATE

Average annual precipitation ranges from 24 to 65 in (610 to 1,650 mm). Coastal areas are subject to intense storms, wind, and rain. Winter temperatures average between −11°C and 1°C, and in summer between 6°C and 15°. Frosts can occur any day of the year at higher elevations. The climate can be compared to that of the Aleutian Islands , Iceland
Iceland
, and Tierra del Fuego .

FLORA AND FAUNA

The Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula
Peninsula
is home to some of the largest populations of native and undisturbed wildlife in the United States. Besides the famous McNeil River and Katmai Alaskan brown bear populations, large herds of caribou , moose , wolves and waterfowl inhabit the area. The bears of the peninsula and Bristol Bay are so numerous because they feed on the world's largest sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka runs, which occur here in large part because the many large lakes of the peninsula are an important element in their lifecycle. These salmon, after returning from their short life at sea, swim into the lakes and their contributing streams to spawn. Their offspring, or fry, overwinter in the deep and food-abundant depths of these lakes until their migration to the sea in one or two years.

Exceptionally large seabird colonies exist along the coast.

The rugged southern half of the peninsula, and also the Kodiak Archipelago which lie off the south coast of the peninsula and are home to even more bears, constitute the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula
Peninsula
montane taiga ecoregion and contain a number of protected areas such as Katmai National Park .

DEMOGRAPHICS

See also: Lake and Peninsula
Peninsula
Borough

Besides the communities on the coast (see: Bristol Bay ), the Alaska Peninsula
Peninsula
also is home to several well-known villages: Cold Bay , King Cove , Perryville , Chignik , Chignik Lake , Chignik Lagoon , and Port Moller . Each is primarily inhabited by Alaska
Alaska
Natives and each, likewise, is mostly dependent on the fishing industry for sustenance. The village of Sand Point should be included here, despite its location on Popof Island, an island of the Sumagin Islands, just off the southern coast of the Peninsula.

REFERENCES

* ^ "Chapter 7-Ecological Subregions of the United States". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2013-06-18. * ^ A B "Encyclopedia of Earth". Eoearth.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.

EXTERNAL

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