Redberry Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Snow Geese
Photo: © Guy Lamarre. Northern Pintails.

Redberry Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located 11 km east of Hafford, Saskatchewan. The MBS is located in the Aspen Parkland ecoregion of Saskatchewan. Redberry Lake is the terminal water body of a large closed-basin watershed. Without an outlet stream, Redberry Lake concentrates salts over time, and the current salinity is too high to support fish populations or many submergent aquatic plants. Wave action along the shorelines permits the formation of sandy beaches but prevents establishment of much emergent vegetation. Water level fluctuations permit connections between some islands with the shore after successive dry years, but most years the islands remain isolated. Islands are dominated by salt-tolerant herbaceous plants such as Salt Grass and Red Samphire near shore, whereas shrubs such as Gooseberry, Silver Buffaloberry, willow and a few trees have established on the higher ground of island interiors. Uplands adjacent to the lakeshore are mostly rolling hills alternating from fescue prairie on shoulder slopes, through mid-slope shrublands of Saskatoon Berries, Chokecherries, Beaked Hazel and Dogwood, to bottomland forests of Trembling aspen and Balsam poplar.

Redberry Lake also supports a resort community, marina and biosphere reserve interpretive centre at the northwest end of the lake, and a summer camp on the east shore.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Redberry Lake is an important fall and spring staging area for migrating waterfowl. Canada Geese, Tundra Swans and an estimated 30 000 ducks regularly rest and feed at the lake during migration. Canada Geese are nesting in increasing numbers at Redberry Lake and on wetlands throughout the district. The critically endangered Whooping Crane regularly stops here on spring and fall migration, and up to 20 pairs of the endangered Piping Plover regularly nest along the sandy beaches. The islands support several large nesting colonies of water birds, with more than a thousand California and Ring-billed Gulls, several hundred American White Pelicans, Common Terns, and White-winged Scoters, dozens of Double-crested Cormorants, Great Blue Herons and Black-crowned Night Herons. In total, over 188 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary, and of these many regularly nest in the area.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

Public access to the MBS is at the discretion of the surrounding private landowners. The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to this site: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

  • Map of Redberry Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Redberry Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Saskatchewan, Redberry, Orolow and Redberry Lake. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers Redberry Lake. The scale of the map is in kilometers.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Redberry Lake MBS can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary table

Summary Table for Redberry Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 52°42' N, 107°10' W
Size in hectares (ha) 5271 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1925
International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) Management Category II - National Park
Additional designations Redberry Lake Important Bird Area
Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve
Main habitat type Open water (95%), grass/shrubs/trees - islands (1%), marsh (4%)
Key bird species Mallard, Northern Pintail, Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Whooping Crane, Peregrine Falcon, Piping Plover and American White Pelican
Other species Birds: Double-crested Cormorant, California and Ring-billed Gull, Common Tern, White-winged Scoter, Lesser Scaup, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Western Grebe, Bonaparte's Gull, sparrows, Barn Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Eastern Kingbird, Horned Lark, American Goldfinch, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Killdeer, American Avocet, Willet, Upland Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Wilson's Snipe, and Wilson's Phalarope Mammals: White-tailed Deer, Ground Squirrel, Coyote, Red Fox, and Badger
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Whooping Crane (Grus americana), Peregrine Falcon (anatum/tundrius) and Piping Plover (circumcinctus subspecies)
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Prairie and Northern Region
Landowner Province of Saskatchewan

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
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