Legend

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Colville River

FISH FRENZY
The Colville is the largest and most productive river delta in northern Alaska.

FOSSIL FUN
Bluffs contain the world’s most extensive polar-region collection of dinosaur fossils.

HOWL!
Wolf densities along the Colville River corridor are also higher than anywhere along Alaska’s northern coastal plain.

Two communities rely on the Colville River to support their traditional lifestyle.

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Utukok River Uplands

WHAT LIVES HERE?

Highest density of brown bears in the Arctic in Alaska.

BREEDING GROUNDS:
For the 230,000+ member Western Arctic Caribou Herd.

SIZE:

Comprises about one-fourth of the Reserve.

TRANSLATION

“Utukok” means “old” or “ancient” in Inupiaq.

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Peard Bay

HAUL-OUT AREA
For marine mammals and migration area for shorebirds and waterbirds.

SPECIES
Ringed seals,
spectacled eiders,
polar bears,
walrus,
waterfowl,
shorebirds

ONE THOUSAND LAKES
Dotted by thousands of tiny thaw lakes – water that melts and collects on permafrost.

 

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Teshepuk Lake

WATER BIRDS

One-fifth of the world’s Pacific black brant molt in this area.

SPECIES

Caribou, waterfowl, polar bears, wolves

CARIBOU

Calving grounds and key insect-relief area for the ~60,000-strong Teshekpuk Lake Caribou Herd.

TRANSLATION
Inupiaq for “big enclosed coastal water.”

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Kasegaluk Lagoon

BABY BELUGAS!
This sheltered, shallow lagoon is important habitat for calving and molting beluga whales.

SPECIES:
Migratory birds,
beluga whales,
polar bears,
seals,
walrus

TRANSLATION: In Inupiaq, “kasegaluk” means “spotted seal place.”

SIZE: 97,000 acres

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The lands and waters of the Western Arctic Reserve were unfortunately named “National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.” But they are not a playground for Big Oil. Spanning nearly 22 million acres across the western North Slope of Alaska, the Reserve is the largest single unit of public lands in the nation.

In fact, the area includes some of our nation’s most vital natural resources – millions of acres of wilderness-quality lands with critical habitat for millions of migratory birds, as well as grizzly bears, caribou, threatened polar bears, walrus, endangered beluga whales and more. The Alaska Native communities that live along the Reserve have maintained a subsistence lifestyle for thousands of years based on Reserve’s living resources.

Five areas of exceptional wildlife value have been are set aside for protection within the Reserve. Learn more with the map above, and be sure to click through from the popups to get more detailed information about each special place.