Point Retreat Natural History
The Point Retreat Lighthouse sits on the northernmost point of Mansfield Peninsula on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. Situated between Lynn Canal and Stephens Passage, Admiralty Island is the third largest island in Southeast Alaska with a total landmass of 1,664 square miles, including 570 miles of coastline. Mansfield Peninsula is home to numerous species of plants and animals. South of the Lighthouse lies vast forests of Sitka Spruce, Yellow Cedar and Western Hemlock. On the forest floor are Sitka and Red Alder, Fiddlehead Ferns, Blueberry, Bunchberry, Common Monkeyflower, and Chocolate Lilies.
Known to the Tlingit Indians as "Fortress of Bears", Admiralty Island has one of the highest concentrations of brown bears in Alaska. An estimated 1500 to 1700 bears call the island home, or about one per square mile. In addition to the Brown Bears, Red Squirrels, Mice, Mink, River Otters, and Sitka Black-Tailed Deer inhabit the forests.
The forests are a haven for Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Ravens, and many other birds. The shoreline and intertidal areas support beds of kelp, mussels and crabs which provide food for the Great Blue Heron, Western Sandpipers, and many types of gulls and ducks. The waters around Point Retreat abound with Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Porpoise, Harbor Seals, Dall's Porpoise, Humpback Whales, and Killer Whales.