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Location Canada, Nunavut
Central coordinates 93o 0.02' West  68o 39.67' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 560,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description The Rasmussen Lowlands are located in the central Canadian Arctic near the base of the Boothia Peninsula. They extend along the eastern side of Rae Strait and the Rasmussen Basin, from the south shore of Netsilik Lake to approximately 45 km north of Arrowsmith Bay. Much of the area is poorly drained, flat lowlands covered with marine silts and sand. The terrain is increasingly rugged in the eastern and northern portions of the Lowlands with the Ross Hills and Wager Highlands bordering the north and east sides respectively. Habitats in the Lowlands vary from partially vegetated, dry tundra with beach ridges and eskers, to richly-vegetated sedge wetlands. Numerous tundra ponds are found throughout the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus breeding  1994  3,822 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
King Eider Somateria spectabilis breeding  1994  12,374 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius breeding  1994  40,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1994  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Rasmussen Lowlands Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 300,000 protected area contained by site 120,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Other   -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rasmussen Lowlands. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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