Norton Sound is located centrally on the west coast of Alaska, between the Yukon-Kukokwim Delta and the Seward Peninsula.

Ornithological Summary

It is the principle molting and staging are for female Spectacled Eiders nesting on the Y-K Delta (Petersen et al., 1999), probably the most imperiled of the three breeding population. Some Y-K Delta male Spectacled Eiders, presumably subadult males, also molt in Norton Sound. As many as 4,030 Spectacled Eiders have been observed in Norton Sound at one time (Larned et al. 1995a). If turnover is included the numbers well exceed 1% of the SPEI global population.

Seasons of use by SPEI: Aut/molt

Conservation Issues

There is risk of pollution associated with the transportation of petroleum products.

Pollution from chemical byproducts of mining and silt are transported to the area by rivers flowing from inland gold mining region.


Depth ranges from 7 to 10 fathoms; sand/mud/gravel substrate; inshore waters.

Land Use

Transportation of oil products; commercial fishing.

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