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TAPS Facts

Animals / Wildlife on TAPS

Animal Crossings, Mainline Pipeline

The purpose is to allow for free movement of big game animals (caribou, moose, etc.) across the pipeline right of way. Approximately 579 animal crossings are incorporated into TAPS, including:

  • Elevated: 554 (minimum height 10 feet).
  • Buried: 23 (each about 200 feet long).
  • Buried, refrigerated: 2 (MP 645 and MP 649).

Bird Species

  • More than 170 identified along the TAPS route.
  • Inland bird response module – TAPS maintains a 40′ long, refrigerated connex that is self-contained for bird response. It runs on one generator and can be set up by one person. Up to 150 birds can be treated at a time and shipped to the Wildlife Response Center in Anchorage.


  • TAPS crosses the ranges of the Central Arctic Herd on the North Slope and the Nelchina Herd in the Copper River Basin.

Fish Species

  • 34 identified in waters crossed by the pipeline.
  • TAPS crosses and monitors 749 active fish stream drainage structures

Other wildlife along the TAPS route include:

  • Moose
  • Muskox
  • Bear
    • Brown
    • Black
  • Wolverine
  • Fox
  • Marine wildlife in Port Valdez
    • Otters
      • Alyeska maintains an Otter Rehabilitation Module, also known as the “Otter Hospital”. It is a rare facility designed to treat and rehabilitate otters affected by an oil spill. It was originally designed and built in the mid-1990s. In 2017, Alyeska upgraded and fully demonstrated the facility to confirm optimum readiness and fit-for-purpose for deployment during a spill response.
    • Sea Lions
    • Seals
    • Orcas / Killer whales
    • Whales

A Pipeline … and Animals!

Narrated by the famous Mel Blanc

This fun and fascinating film from the ’70s introduces a menagerie of Alaska’s amazing animals and illustrates how they coexist, make their homes, and travel along the 800-mile TAPS route.