Nanvak Bay is a small lagoon at the head of the Cape Newenham Peninsula that is fed by Slug River and several smaller creeks originating on Slug Mountain to the east. Nanvak Bay is part of Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Ornithological Summary

15 species of shorebirds regularly occur on this area in numbers approaching 19,000 individuals. Least and Western Sandpipers are listed as accounting for 53% and 26%, respectively, of the overall numbers using the site. A season-long (May-September 1996) assessment of bird use of the area produced 33 species of shorebirds for the site (Burke and Burke, unpubl.) The total of high daily counts for all species over the observation period was 9, 950 birds; including single observations of flocks of 5,500 Red-necked Phalaropes and 2,500 Western sandpipers. The fact that species like Western Sandpipers and Red-necked Phalaropes, known for rapid passage through areas, were sighted in large numbers almost daily by the Burkes, suggests that total numbers of birds using this site would easily qualify Nanvak Bay as an IBA of global importance.
Nanvak Bay is an important waterfowl staging area as well. Information on population numbers of species staging in Nanvak, Chagvan Goodnews Bays during spring and autumn migration are provided in Petersen et al. (1991) (Proportions of birds staging in each bay is 35%, 60% and 5% respectively C. Dau, pers. com)

Total for 15 species: 19,000

Surveys for sea ducks: 1960-90

Surveys for shorebirds: 1996

Conservation Issues

Pollution with arsenic and other byproducts of gold/platinum mining

Bycatch of Steller's Eiders in near shore areas as a result of gill net fishery

Increased consumptive use through hunting

Pollution with transported oil products


Inshore waters, Eel grass beds, Sand spits, Intertidal mud/sandflats, Graminoid/sedge meadows, and Sand beach

Shoreline 35 km
Barrier beach/spit - 2km
Veget. intertidal - 7km
Unveg. intert. - 8km

Land Use

Mining for gold/platinum

Urban/industrial/ transport


Barge traffic

Commercial gill net fishery

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