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Location Canada, Saskatchewan
Central coordinates 102o 39.03' West  53o 56.46' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 480,000 ha
Altitude 698 - 740m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Bird Studies Canada/Nature Canada

Site description This huge mid-boreal area, known as the Cumberland Marshes, includes all the wetlands between the Carrot and Saskatchewan Rivers, and between Kennedy Lake and the Saskatchewan - Manitoba boundary. The community of Cumberland House is located in the northern section of this area. This site is part of the gently sloping flood plain of the Saskatchewan River and its tributaries. Most of this area is covered by fens that are frequently saturated with water at or near the surface. These largely treeless wetlands are covered by cattails, rushes, reeds, sedges, and scattered willows. Numerous marshy lakes are also found throughout the site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus passage  1976  5,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos passage  1976  200,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Canvasback Aythya valisineria breeding  1972  30,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Redhead Aythya americana breeding  1972  36,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris breeding  1972  72,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula breeding  1972  14,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1972-1976  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Anderson Island Protected Area 526 protected area contained by site 390  
Pasquia Hills North Recreation Site 40 protected area contained by site 150  
Saskeram Wildlife Management Area 96,648 protected area overlaps with site 87,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Temperate coniferous forest  2%
Wetlands (inland) Fens transition mires & springs; Freshwater lakes and pools; Rivers  98%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
tourism/recreation minor

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cumberland Marshes. Downloaded from on 20/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife