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Location Canada, Alberta
Central coordinates 110o 39.04' West  52o 24.06' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 2,600 ha
Altitude 663 - 700m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Metiskow and Sunken lakes are two small shallow lakes in central eastern Alberta. Metiskow Lake (an unofficial name for an unnamed lake) is just north of the community of Metiskow, while Sunken Lake is to the south. The town of Provost is about 30 km to the east. These lakes are permanent hyper-saline lakes surrounded by native sandy aspen parkland and some cultivated land. The 10 and 30 m wide beaches where Piping Plovers nest on Metiskow Lake have extensive alkali deposits and soft muddy patches, and the isolated gravelly beaches of Sunken Lake are over 30 m wide. Sunken Lake is so named because it sits in a local depression. Scratch grass (Muhlenbergia asperifolia), a rare plant in Alberta, occurs at this site. This is one of only a few (approximately 6-20) occurrences in the province.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii passage  1988  10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate deciduous woods  -
Shrubland Scrub  -
Grassland Steppe & dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Saline/alkaline lakes  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
hunting minor
other minor
rangeland/pastureland major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Metiskow and Sunken Lakes. Downloaded from on 18/09/2014

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