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Location Canada, Alberta
Central coordinates 115o 21.05' West  55o 27.66' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 200,000 ha
Altitude 570 - 1,005m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The massive Lesser Slave Lake in northcentral Alberta, is one of the largest lakes in the province. The town of Slave Lake is near the southeastern corner, and several small communities are located along the highway that runs along the south shore. The northern shore of this relatively shallow (20 m) lake is steeper and often rockier than the shallower southern shore, which contains various marsh communities. Sandy beaches and dunes are found at the eastern end of the lake. In Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park (at the eastern end of the lake) and all around the lake, are hilly mixedwood forests of Trembling Aspen, Balsam Poplar, Balsam Fir, White Spruce and Black Spruce. Two Alberta subregions are represented here: Central Mixedwood and Lower Foothills. At the western end of the lake there is a rich delta leading into Buffalo Bay. Both marsh and swamp habitats are represented here.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus passage  1985  3,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis breeding  1975  650 nests  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Hilliard's Bay Provincial Park 2,329 protected area contained by site 2,300  
Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park 7,557 protected area contained by site 7,400  
Little Grassy Designation Not Known 563 protected area contained by site 570  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Boreal coniferous forest; Boreal deciduous woods; Boreal mixed woods  -
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research minor
fisheries/aquaculture major
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lesser Slave Lake PP. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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