Lopp Lagoon is a large, mostly closed system that extends northeast from Cape Prince of Wales about 30 km. The Mint and Yankee rivers and numerous smaller drainages feed the lagoon from the southeast.

Ornithological Summary

Aside from season-long assessment of the site in 1977 (Connors and Connors, 1985), only scattered and mostly anecdotal information exits for this site. Between early June and mid-September 1977, Connors and Connors (op.cite) conducted shorebird surveys of littoral (both lagoon and ocean) habitats at 5 day intervals during which they recorded about 3,500 total shorebirds using the 73, 5 ha of plots sampled. Densities were comparable at about 5.0 birds/ha during early and late summer, but only a fraction of that (1.5 birds/ha) during mid-summer. Western Sandpipers were by far most abundant species at this site accounting for about 45% of all birds recorded. Kessel (1989) also lists Western Sandpipers as comprising 65% of a group of 1,000+ "peeps" seen there on 3 July 1974.

Applying average density values to available littoral habitat at the site suggest that in excess of 20,000 birds could use the area over the course of a season. Considering that Western Sandpipers are the principal species using the site and that both adults and juveniles exhibit rapid passage through such systems in summer and autumn, use of this site by 20,000 or more birds is very likely, thus qualifying it as a WHRSN Regional reserve.

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

Total shorebirds: Breedin; >20,000: A3, A4iii.

Conservation Issues

Transportation or petroleum products.

Pollution with silt and chemical byproducts of mining, general habitat loss due to mining activity (gold mining in Nome Area).

Reindeer herding: tampling of nests and habitat destruction.

Consumptive use through hunting.


Intertidal mud/sand flats; barrier islands/bars; graminoid/sedge meadows; sand beach.

Shoreline: 102 km
Barrier beach/spit: 74 km2
Vegetated intertidal: 2 km2
Unvegetated intertidal: 1.4 km2

Land Use

urban industrial transport; hunting; reindeer herding.

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