Year of compilation: 2001
This area contains critical spawning and nursery habitat for fish coming from Lake Claire and Lake Athabasca. Over 20 fish species are known to occur in the area including Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike and the nationally threatened Shortjaw Cisco.
Over 400,000 waterfowl have been recorded during spring migration, and during fall migration estimates have exceeded 1 million. In the late 1950s and early 1960s estimates were as high as 320,000 pairs of breeding ducks. More recently, breeding estimates have been lower, with about 120,000 pairs of dabbling ducks (Mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon and Northern Pintail) and about 40,000 pairs of diving ducks (Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup) being recorded.
Some of the breeding waterfowl species found in abundance on the delta include Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Canvasback. In all, 215 bird species have been recorded, including the globally endangered Whooping Crane, the nationally vulnerable Tundra Peregrine Falcon (ssp. tundrius), Bald Eagle, and Osprey. A colony of Black Terns is found on Richardson Lake, and other waterbirds recorded here include Western Grebe, Eared Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, and Common Tern.
Although the delta?s size, isolation, and wilderness character have provided protection for many of its ecological features, it is being affected by external factors. The construction of two hydro-electric dams in British Columbia (about 800 km upstream on the Peace River) have disrupted the delta's hydrology by creating relatively stable water levels. The lack of rising and receding flood waters have severely damaged the delta ecosystem and greatly reduced its productivity. The delta is also being affected by industrial pollutants from pulp mills in the B.C. and Alberta portions of the Peace-Athabasca watershed.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Peace-Athabasca Delta. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/09/2020.