The Stebbins-St. Michael site is located along the south shore of Norton Sound and falls entirely within the borders of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. It is an extensive complex of vegetated intertidal wetlands interspersed with numerous lakes, ponds, and drainage channels, which represent 35% of all such habitat bordering Norton Sound.

Ornithological Summary

Shorebird information from this site comes from two principal sources, Woodby and Divoky (1983) and McCaffery (1991). The former reported the site to support 52% of the breeding shorebirds throughout Norton Sound including a population of 44,000 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 26,000 Red-necked Phalaropes and 16,000 Dunlin. The area was especially important to Red-necked Phalaropes during the post-breeding period when 77% of all shorebirds (60,000) recorded were of this species.

McCaffery (1991) conducted a series of transects over the northern third of the site between 24 August and 7 September 1990. Long-billed Dowitchers accounted for 54% of 6,218 birds recorded, followed by Western Sandpipers (12%), American Golden Plovers (10%), Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (7%), and Dunlin (3%). Nine other shorebird taxa accounted for the remaining numbers. Coupled with finding by Woodby and Divoky (1983), and given that McCaffery's transects sampled but a small fraction of the available habitat in the area and that the remainder of the Stebbins site is of similar habitat, it is not unreasonable to expect several tens of thousands of shorebirds to use this area during the post-breeding period.

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

Total shorebirds: A4iii

Conservation Issues

Potential for pollution from transportation of petroleum products, and consumptive use through hunting.


Vegetated intertidal wetlands interspersed with numerous lakes, ponds, and drainage channels. Vegetated intertidal; graminoid/sedge meadows; intertidal mudflats.

Shoreline- 66 km
Vegetated intertidal- 180 km2
Unvegetated intertidal- 13 km2

Land Use

urban/industrial/transport; hunting; fishing.

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