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Location Canada, Alberta
Central coordinates 112o 33.28' West  53o 26.28' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 21,000 ha
Altitude 668 - 670m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Beaverhill Lake is located approximately 60 km southeast of Edmonton near the town of Tofield, Alberta. The site includes the waters of Beaverhill Lake (13,900 ha) and the Beaverhill Natural Area (410 ha). The Lake is strongly alkaline and shallow with a maximum depth of two to three m. The water levels fluctuate annually in response to precipitation. The shoreline is variable and includes shallow mudflats, narrow sandy beaches, and areas of dense emergent vegetation. The adjacent Beaverhill Natural Area has flat to gently rolling open grasslands with a mix of aspen groves and willow stands. Outside of the Natural Area habitats are comprised primarily of rangeland with some cultivated areas.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis passage  1993  8,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola passage  1995  7,800 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos passage  1989  5,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis passage  1978  1,500 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan breeding  1976  10,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  100,000-499,999 individuals  poor  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Beaverhill Natural Area 410 protected area contained by site 410  
Beaverhill Lake Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 18,050 protected area overlaps with site 17,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Boreal coniferous forest; Temperate deciduous woods  -
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Saline/alkaline lakes; Sand dunes and beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
nature conservation and research major
hunting major
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Beaverhill Lake. Downloaded from on 30/08/2014

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