Teshekpuk Lake is the largest lake in the Alaskan Arctic and the third largest lake in the state. The Teshekpuk Lake region provides important habitat to a wide variety of wildlife - including the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd, muskox, brown bear, polar bear, wolverine, wolves, arctic fox, red fox, shrews, lemmings, more than a dozen fish species, shorebirds in unusually high densities, snowy owls, jaegers, falcons, ravens, and migratory waterfowl. Given future sea-level rise projections, rapid migration of the Beaufort Sea coastline, climate change impacts to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and uncertain habitat and wildlife responses, as well as the potential for oil and gas development in the watershed, the Teshekpuk Lake Observatory (TLO) has been established.
The primary goal of the TLO is to gain a better understanding of this internationally recognized ecosystem during a period of rapid environmental change in the Arctic. The TLO represents a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey - Alaska Science Center, the Bureau of Land Management - Arctic Field Office, the National Science Foundation, and several other partners. Several projects are underway that are aimed at learning about the present as well as the past state of Teshekpuk Lake and the surrounding area. This in turn will provide much needed information on the potential future status of this unique Arctic ecosystem.
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Teshekpuk in the News