|Central coordinates||107o 9.64' West 52o 40.86' North|
|Altitude||507 - 518m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information In 1991, 524 pairs of American White Pelicans were censused on the islands in Redberry Lake. In 1996, however, the number of nesting pelicans had increased to 1,060 pairs. Based on recent population estimates, these numbers represent about 1 to 2% of the world's American White Pelican population.
Historically, Redberry Lake has also supported nationally significant numbers of the globally-threatened, nationally-endangered Piping Plover. As many as 41 birds were recorded in both 1984 and 1985. In 1991, the International Piping Plover survey recorded 21 birds. In recent years, however, the number of plovers observed has dropped to only four birds in 1996.
During extensive studies completed in 1986, about 400 pairs of nesting White-winged Scoters were recorded on the Lake. It has been suggested that this is the world's single largest breeding concentration of this species. About 215 birds have recorded in the vicinity of the lake.
Site description Redberry Lake, named for the profusion of buffalo berries (Shepherdia canadensis) that grow in the region, is located in north-central Saskatchewan near the village of Hafford. It is a large, internally drained, saline lake typical of Saskatchewan?s Parkland Region. Water levels on the lake have dropped continuously since it was first surveyed in 1906-09. At that time, the levels stood at about 515 m; today?s level is about 507 m. As a result, the shoreline has been reduced by 36 km, the area of its islands by 250 ha, and its overall area by 2,430 ha. At present the area of the lake is 5,610 ha, including four islands with a combined area of 85 ha. These islands (?Pelican?, ?Gull?, ?Old Tern? and ?New Tern?) are (or were) used by nesting colonial birds. The names, however, do not now reflect the species nesting there. American White Pelicans used Pelican and Gull Islands in 1972; by 1996 they had switched to New Tern, an island that has been exposed only since 1957.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos||breeding||1996||2,120 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Redberry Lake||Migratory Bird Sanctuary||6,395||protected area contained by site||5,700|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Steppe & dry calcareous grassland||15%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Saline/alkaline lakes||84%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Conservation response The lake has been designated a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary since 1925, and the islands as Provincial Wildlife Reserve since 1970. In the early 1970s the area was also identified as a candidate representative natural area under the International Biological Programme. In addition, upland habitat (920 ha) has been protected under the provincial Critical Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. The lake and associated uplands are also part of the Provincial Representative Areas Network (RAN).
In recognition of the significance of the area, provincial laws prohibit the use of boats within 100 m of the nesting islands. The Rural Municipality of Redberry has also passed zoning regulations that protect portions of the lake from further development. And the Redberry Pelican Project (RPP) has requested that boaters refrain from entering an advertised 1 km buffer zone around the nesting islands.
Threats exist, even with the above recognition. These include: potential disturbance of colonial waterbirds, scoters and Piping Plovers by boaters; loss of nesting islands through declining water levels; increased salinity due to declining water levels, which may in turn affect primary productivity and ultimately use by birds; and loss of former lake bed to adjacent patented land through the "Law of Accretion".
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Redberry Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
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