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Location Canada, Alberta
Central coordinates 111o 33.41' West  52o 36.02' North
IBA criteria A4iii
Area 600 ha
Altitude 695 m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description Bellshill Lake is located approximately 24 km southeast of the town of Sedgewick, in east-central Alberta. Also known as Goose Lake, this lake has a few patches of bulrush along its shoreline, but otherwise the shoreline is open. The north end of the lake is fairly shallow, with the central and southern portions being a little deeper. A mixture of pasture and cultivated lands surround the lake.

Key Biodiversity Bellshill Lake supports over 20,000 white geese each fall. Most of these birds are Snow Geese, but some are Ross Geese. In some years, however, the numbers are much higher, such as on October 24, 2000, when it was estimated that there were 50,000 white geese on the lake. Ross Geese arrive earlier than the Snow Geese, which peak in early October, so these figures to not include peak Ross Goose numbers. Greater White-fronted Geese are also abundant between 5,000 and 10,000 are usually present. The higher number is about 1% of the North American population.

Several thousand Canada Geese, probably from the Short Grass Prairie population, are also feed here in the autumn. The geese are attracted to the open shorelines found around the lake, and the shallow waters at the north end.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2000  20,000-49,999 individuals  poor  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools; Freshwater marshes/swamps  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting minor
not utilised major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bellshill Lake. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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