Landis Lake is situated in west central Saskatchewan, near the town of Landis. It is a saline lake that is subject to wide fluctuations in water levels through the course of a typical year. The lake is usually full from runoff in early spring, with the water levels dropping through the spring and summer. It is often completely dry by early summer. When the lake is not dry it has proven to be significant for congregating shorebirds. Cultivated lands surround the lake.
In 1989, a one-day total of 11,890 Stilt Sandpipers was recorded at Landis Lake during spring migration. This total may represent as much as 12% of the worlds estimated population for this species. It is not known whether this species regularly concentrates at this site in such large numbers. Other species that have occurred here in large numbers during spring migration include Sanderlings (1,671in early June 1995 just over 1% of the North American population), and Red-necked Phalaropes (13,654 were recorded on a one-day count on 27 May 1996 just under 1% of the worlds estimated population). During the fall migration, additional shorebird species have been recorded in relatively large numbers: Pectoral Sandpipers (597 in late July 1995 just over 1% of the North American estimated population), American Avocet (336 in late July 1995), and Lesser Yellowlegs (163 in late July 1995). Piping Plovers, a globally vulnerable and nationally endangered species, have nested at Landis Lake, although never in large numbers. During censuses completed in 1979 and 1996 a single pair was observed, and in 1990 a total of two pairs was observed.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The Landis Lake area is privately owned and the predominant surrounding land use is agriculture. The greatest threat to the staging shorebirds at this site is drought, which can make the habitat unsuitable for foraging. A small portion of the west central shoreline has been designated as critical Piping Plover habitat (areas used by one or more Piping Plovers where there is a reasonable expectation of reuse). This designation protects the shoreline to the high water mark from development.