Pakowki Lake Introduction
The Pakowki Lake Area of Concern is located southeast of the Cypress Hills and north of the Milk River, in the Grassland Natural Region. An area of national environmental significance, it encompasses the large, intermittent lake itself, as well as the surrounding prairie uplands and a large sand dune–wetland complex, including extensive bulrush marshes. Pakowki Lake is an important staging area for migrating shorebirds and provides a nesting area for birds that occur in few other places in Canada. The area is also important for the rare and uncommon plants found in the sand dune and wetland habitats. A number of endangered species live in the Pakowki Lake region, including the greater sage-grouse, which has been federally listed as endangered since 1998.
- The Pakowki sandhills are public land held under grazing lease. Some cultivation has taken place on adjacent parcels of privately owned land.
- None of the Pakowki Lake Area of Concern has provincial or federal protected status.
- Pakowki Lake is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA). A site is recognized as an IBA only if it meets certain criteria, based on the occurrence of key bird species that are vulnerable to global extinction or whose populations are otherwise irreplaceable. Selecting an area as an IBA is a way of identifying it as a priority for conservation. It does not convey any legislated protective status.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified Pakowki Lake as a Category IV Habitat/Species Management Area, meaning it should be managed mainly for conservation of habitats and biodiversity.
AWA’s Vision for Pakowki Lake
Pakowki Lake should be formally recognized for its national environmental significance with legislated provincial protection. It should be managed primarily for conservation purposes so as to ensure the maintenance of natural habitat and biodiversity.