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Location Canada, Manitoba
Central coordinates 90o 6.61' West  57o 1.87' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 65,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Kaskattama River Mouth is located on the Hudson Bay Coast, about 75 km west of the Ontario border. The closest community within Manitoba is Gillam, which is located about 290 km southwest of the site. The coast is a narrow sandy beach, bordered by gentle sand dunes. There are no rock outcroppings along this section of the coast. Tundra borders the coastline, gradually grading into taiga then boreal-coniferous forest. The river branches a number of times at its mouth creating numerous islands and extensive sandbars. Since the terrain is flat, the tidal action from Hudson Bay creates large areas of mud flats and supertidal salt marshes.

Key Biodiversity Due to its isolated location, few detailed surveys have been completed at this site, and none have documented the full magnitude of bird usage. In the fall of 1997, peak one-day counts included over 50,000 Lesser Snow Geese (about 1.5% of the mid-continent population); more than 10,000 Canada Geese (which may be mostly Tall Grass Prairie birds, therefore containing as much as 3% of this population); and greater than 700 Hudsonian Godwits (probably over 1.4% of the world's estimated population of 50,000). Considering the probability of high turnover rates, it is likely that the numbers of these species using this site during the entire season is much larger.

Other species with notable one-day counts during fall migration include Red Knot (100+) and Lesser Yellowlegs (250+). Nesting species include Least Sandpipers (50+), Semipalmated Plovers (20+) and Willow Ptarmigan (50+) among many others. In 1997, nesting Barn Swallows were also recorded. This is of ornithological interest since it is a range extension of at least 250 km to the northeast of this species' normal breeding range.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica passage  1997  700 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1997  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cape Tatnam Wildlife Management Area 531,190 protected area overlaps with site 57,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Boreal coniferous forest  -
Grassland Tundra  -
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Rivers  -
Sea Open sea; Sea inlets  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kaskattama River Mouth. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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