Selawik's name comes from the Iñupiaq Siiḷvik, "place of sheefish"
The refuge was created to conserve the Western Arctic Caribou Herd; waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory birds; and salmon and sheefish. Today, tens of thousands of birds, fish, insects and other creatures rest, breed and feed in the vast wetlands complex that is the heart of the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge.
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