The Ministik, Joseph and Oliver lakes site is located 20 km southeast of Edmonton, and 3 km northeast of the hamlet of New Sarepta. A number of small to medium sized lakes are also included in the site. Ministik Lake is a saline lake with alkaline shorelines, emergent vegetation, wet meadows, and shallow marshes. A diversity of upland habitats, including significant portions of undisturbed remnant dry mixed wood habitat, is contained in the area. The majority of the topography is knob and kettle and exhibits an excellent interspersion of lakes, ponds, wetlands and upland forest. It is surrounded by heavy agricultural use, so is an island of almost untouched landscape. Moose and White-tailed Deer use the key habitat surrounding the lakes.
This sites irregular shorelines, shallow marshes, islands and exposed mudflats create excellent habitat for dabbling ducks. Accordingly, these lakes have recorded globally significant numbers of waterfowl in late summer, when a peak of 51,000 birds were surveyed (a minimum of 5,000 ducks regularly occur on Ministik Lake). Waterfowl also breed in large numbers, and stage here in spring and fall migration. Additionally, the whole area is an important spring and fall staging site for Tundra Swans.
Joseph Lake hosts a number of colonial nesting birds, with a 1998 survey documenting 480 American White Pelicans nests (or just under 1% of the national population), California Gulls (1,500 nests), and Double-crested Cormorants (390 nests).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ministik, Joseph and Oliver Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2022.