IBA North, West, and East Shoal Lakes
Woodlands, Manitoba
Site Summary
MB038 Latitude
Longitude
50.398° N
97.645° W
Elevation
Size
?? m
211.56 km²
Habitats:
deciduous woods (temperate), scrub/shrub, native grassland, sedge/grass meadows, rivers/streams, freshwater marsh, rocky flats & barrens
Land Use:
Agriculture, Nature conservation and research, Hunting, Rangeland/pastureland
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Dykes/dam/barrages, Drought, Grazing
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Waterfowl Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species, Nationally Significant: Threatened Species, Congregatory Species
Conservation status: Game Bird Refuge (provincial), Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal)
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Site Description
North, West, and East Shoal lakes are located in the southern part of the Interlake region of Manitoba. The area used to consist of one lake, but in 1912 when the Wagon Creek drain was constructed, the water level fell four to five metres. The lakes are alkaline and contain a number of islands. There are some rocky areas around these lakes and the country surrounding them is generally cattle pasture and is extremely flat. The flat terrain means that fluctuations in water levels significantly affect the presence of different habitats.
Birds
The North, West and East Shoal Lakes are highly significant for enormous congregations of migrating waterfowl and high numbers of nesting pelicans, grebes and plovers. As much as 2.3% (1,935 nests) of the estimated global American White Pelican population was recorded at this site. Another significant breeder is the globally vulnerable and nationally endangered Piping Plover. Over six years, between 1985 and 1996 an average of 46 plovers have been recorded in West Shoal Lake (26 in 1996). This average is approximately 1.5% of the Great Plains population.

During the fall migration, vast flocks of Canada Geese and Lesser Snow Geese are observed. Peak one day counts have recorded as many as 100,000 Canada Geese, representing a staggering 30% of the estimated Tall Grass Prairie Canada Goose population and about 200,000 Lesser Snow Geese, representing approximately 6.6% of the estimated Mid-Continental Lesser Snow Goose population. Other waterfowl numbers recorded include over 50,000 ducks of mixed species that were observed on several single day counts. Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, and Tundra Swan are amongst the species present.

Other birds that have been known to breed at this site in small numbers include: Western Grebe (400 nests in 1979), Ring-billed Gull (450 nests in 1986), Herring Gull (232 nests in 1979), Black-crowned Night-Heron (6 nests), Eared Grebe (500 nests), Common Tern (40 nests in 1986), Double-crested Cormorants (263 nests in 1986), Willet and American Avocet.




IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Number Year Month Day Season A4i/ii B4i/ii/iii A1 B1 C1 Reference
American White Pelican 2,494 1979 SU 1,800 1,800 MBCDC 1999
American White Pelican 3,870 1986 SU 1,800 1,800 MBCDC 1999
American White Pelican 1,605 2017 SP 1,800 1,800 eBird Canada:IBA Protocol
Cackling Goose 100,000 1995 FA 11,600 2,100
Loggerhead Shrike 1 2012 5 20 SP 42,000 37,000 1 eBird Canada
Piping Plover 52 1976 6 11 SU 65 17
Piping Plover 80 1985 7 15 SU 65 17 Haig 1987
Piping Plover 52 1987 7 26 SU 65 17 Moszynski & Koonz 1988
Piping Plover 36 1990 5 15 SP 65 17 Koonz 1990
Piping Plover 13 1991 SU 65 17 Flemming 1994
Piping Plover 67 1994 SU 65 17
Piping Plover 26 1996 SU 65 17 Plissner & Haig 1997
Rusty Blackbird 153 2012 4 12 SP 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 100 2013 10 5 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 125 2013 10 5 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 50 2015 10 3 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 52 2015 10 3 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 104 2015 10 3 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Rusty Blackbird 223 2015 10 3 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada:IBA Protocol
Rusty Blackbird 254 2015 10 3 FA 11,000 11,000 30 30 7,552 eBird Canada
Snow Goose 200,000 1995 FA 75,600 75,600
Waterbirds 200,000 1995 FA 20,000
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
 
Conservation Issues
The breeding populations of colonial nesting species, and to a lesser degree, waterfowl here, are very affected by fluctuating water levels due to dryer or wetter years. The pelicans nesting colonies may be vulnerable to site-specific disturbances such as pesticides. Also, it is possible that Ring-billed Gulls have encroached on Piping Plover habitat.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
   © Bird Studies Canada