This site is located at the north mouth of Kotzebue Sound and includes Krusenstern Lagoon and a beach ridge-wetland complex that extends southeast to Aukulak lagoon. The site is entirely within the cape Krusenstern National Monument. The 48 km2 Krusenstern Lagoon is protected by a 4 km long barrier bar along its northwestern shore, and lagoon waters average 1.2-2.0 m in depth. A diveristy of tundra and wetland habitats surrounds the area.

Ornithological Summary

Shorebird use of this site received initial attention by Connors and Connors (1985) and more recently through a series of studies that addressed communities of shorebirds nesting over habitats adjacent to the lagoon (Bunn 1988, 1989; Shoroeder 1995). Connors and Connors were present at the site for two seasones (26 May-7 Sep) during 1977 and 1978. Based on 70 ha littoral habitat censused at 5 day intervals they recorded 5,100 total shorebirds or an average density of 2.6 shorebirds/ha throughout the season (r=0.25-0.9). Red-necked Phalaropes, Western, Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers and Long-billed Dowitchers were the most abundant species using littoral habitats at this site.

Also a favorable nesting area of Arctic and Aleutian terns (possibly more than 1% of Aleutian Tern global population).

Until more recent data become available, however, this site is PENDING GLOBAL/CONTINENTAL status.

Bunn, R.L. 1988. Aerial surveys of migratory waterfowl using coastal habitats of Cape Krusenstern National Monument and adjacent areas, fall 1988. Unpublished Report, National Park Service, Kotzebue, AK.

Bunn, R.L. 1989. Aerial waterfowl surveys; Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska. Natural Resources Survey and Inventory Report AR/XX. National Park Service, Kotzebue, AK.

Gill, R.E., Tibbits, T.L. and Handel, C.M. 1999. Profiles of Potential Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Sites in Alaska. Draft. US Geological Services, Anchorage, AK.

Schroeder, M.T. 1995. Monitoring shorebird and waterfowl use at Krusenstern Lagoon, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska: 1991-1993 summary. Natural Resource Technical Report NRTR- 95/25, National Park Service, Anchorage, AK.

Conservation Issues

Transportation of petroleum products and associated leakage and spills.

Consumptive use through hunting.


Federal (National Park Service), entirely within the boundaries of the Krusenstern National Monument.
WHSRN site of regional importance.


Intertidal mud/sandflats., Sand/gravel shoreline, Graminoid/sedge meadows, and Barrier island/bars

Shoreline- 204 km
Barrier beach/spit- 33 km2
Vegetated intertidal- 48 km2
Unvegetated intertidal- 2 km2

Land Use

hunting; fishing; urban industrial transport.

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