Wetlands of the Western Arctic
At a Glance
- 3.65 million acres
- Northern coast of Alaska
- Home to 32,000 Caribou
- Home to threatened Spectacled Eiders (and many other threatened bird species)
- Home to Endangered Species candidate Yellow-billed Loon
- Largest geese molting area in the Arctic
- Home to 20% of the Pacific Black Brant population worldwide
Teshekpuk Lake sits just off the coast of northern Alaska, surrounded by some of the most important wetland in the entire arctic. These wetlands provide molting grounds to an immense number of shorebirds and waterfowl such as the Spectacled Eider, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and the Yellow-billed Loon, which is a candidate for endangered species listing. These birds can be found nesting and fishing on the deep lakes in the area.
In the summer, 32,000 caribou gather for the calving season to raise their young, in a place with ample forage and few predators. The Teshekpuk lake area is paramount to a delicate balance between these caribou herds and the native subsistence hunters of Nuiqsut, Barrow, and Atqasuk, who continue to preserve a way of life which has been passed from generation to generation.
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