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Location Canada, Saskatchewan
Central coordinates 107o 9.64' West  52o 40.86' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 13,000 ha
Altitude 507 - 518m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 areas

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland minor
tourism/recreation major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Redberry Lake. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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