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Location Canada, Alberta
Central coordinates 119o 3.13' West  58o 45.02' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 59,000 ha
Altitude 325 - 350m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada



Site description The Hay and Zama Lakes area is a remote complex of lakes in northwestern Alberta. The nearest population centre is Rainbow Lake, 25 km to the southwest. The site is a large lowland wetland complex which includes a series of eutrophic freshwater lakes, floodplains and river deltas. The size and depth of the lakes vary according to the seasonally fluctuating inflow from Hay River. The surrounding forests are dominated by spruce, trembling aspen, and balsam poplar. The site is a movement corridor for ungulates, and has good habitat for Woodland Caribou and Wood Bison (one of few wild populations).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons passage  1985  15,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens passage  1985  130,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1985  500,000-999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Hay-Zama Lakes Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 50,000 protected area overlaps with site 36,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Boreal coniferous forest; Boreal deciduous woods; Boreal mixed woods  -
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools; Freshwater marshes/swamps; Rivers  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
fisheries/aquaculture minor
hunting minor
rangeland/pastureland minor
urban/industrial/transport major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hay and Zama Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2014

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