Located in the northeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, Teshekpuk Lake – the largest lake in Arctic Alaska and the third largest in the entire state – lies at the heart of one of the most productive and unique wetland complexes in the circumpolar Arctic. The area around Teshekpuk Lake contains critical breeding grounds for several important species.
Teshekpuk Lake has been recognized by the National Audubon Society and Birdlife International program as an Important Bird Area for shorebirds, as it hosts the highest density of shorebirds in the circumpolar Arctic. More than a dozen of Audubon’s Alaska WatchList species nest, molt, or rest near Teshekpuk Lake, including threatened spectacled eiders, king eiders, red-throated loons, dunlins, and buff-breasted Sandpipers. The areas north and east of Teshekpuk Lake provide ideal conditions for molting geese (who cannot fly) and other vulnerable birds: a remote location that’s free of development, large lakes where flightless birds can escape from predators, and tender sedges to fuel their high energy demands.
The Teshekpuk Lake Special Area also provides high-value habitat areas for the Teshekpuk Lake Caribou Herd.