Redberry Lake

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 13,000 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Redberry Lake, named for the profusion of buffalo berries (Shepherdia canadensis) that grow in the region, is located in north-central Saskatchewan near the village of Hafford. It is a large, internally drained, saline lake typical of Saskatchewan?s Parkland Region. Water levels on the lake have dropped continuously since it was first surveyed in 1906-09. At that time, the levels stood at about 515 m; today?s level is about 507 m. As a result, the shoreline has been reduced by 36 km, the area of its islands by 250 ha, and its overall area by 2,430 ha. At present the area of the lake is 5,610 ha, including four islands with a combined area of 85 ha. These islands (?Pelican?, ?Gull?, ?Old Tern? and ?New Tern?) are (or were) used by nesting colonial birds. The names, however, do not now reflect the species nesting there. American White Pelicans used Pelican and Gull Islands in 1972; by 1996 they had switched to New Tern, an island that has been exposed only since 1957.

Key biodiversity
In 1991, 524 pairs of American White Pelicans were censused on the islands in Redberry Lake. In 1996, however, the number of nesting pelicans had increased to 1,060 pairs. Based on recent population estimates, these numbers represent about 1 to 2% of the world's American White Pelican population.

Historically, Redberry Lake has also supported nationally significant numbers of the globally-threatened, nationally-endangered Piping Plover. As many as 41 birds were recorded in both 1984 and 1985. In 1991, the International Piping Plover survey recorded 21 birds. In recent years, however, the number of plovers observed has dropped to only four birds in 1996.

During extensive studies completed in 1986, about 400 pairs of nesting White-winged Scoters were recorded on the Lake. It has been suggested that this is the world's single largest breeding concentration of this species. About 215 birds have recorded in the vicinity of the lake.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Redberry Lake. Downloaded from on 29/11/2021.