Important Bird Areas

South-Central North Shore IBA


The South-Central North Shore (SNS)
IBA encompasses that portion of the North Shore of Lake Superior extending
south and southwest from the Superior National Forest IBA to the shoreline of
Lake Superior.  Located in northeastern
Minnesota, the IBA extends from the northeastern outskirts of Duluth, St. Louis
County, northeastward through Lake County into the extreme SW corner of Cook
County, ending just southwest of Schroeder. The IBA includes more than 70 miles
of Lake Superior shoreline (Figure 1). 
In addition to Duluth, larger cities and towns within or adjoining the
IBA include Two Harbors, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, and Finland.  The Superior Hiking Trail runs through the
length of the IBA.

Like the neighboring Superior IBA, the SNS lies within the Laurentian
Mixed Forest Province, which is a transition zone between the conifer-dominated
boreal forest to the North, and deciduous forest to the South. The SNS includes portions of two ECS
Subsections – the North Shore Highlands (90% of IBA) and Toimi Uplands (10% of
IBA) (figure 2). The topography of the SNS IBA varies from extremely rugged to
relatively level, with the highest point approximately 11 miles inland from the
lowest (Lake Superior) –an elevational change of 1,400 ft. Numerous rivers and
streams flow through the IBA, all emptying into Lake Superior.  Developed areas and disturbed habitats are
frequent close to Lake Superior, particularly along the Highway 61 corridor
that generally follows the shoreline. The land cover is about 94% native
vegetation, 4% developed, and 2% water.

The South-Central North Shore IBA includes several types of
areas managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR).

State Parks

H. Crosby Manitou -- 6,159 acres

-- 9,489 acres

Rock Lighthouse -- 2,260 acres

Falls -- 1,682 acres

Scientific and Natural Areas

Point -- 11 acres

Beach -- 14 acres

Mountain -- 177 acres

Wildlife Management Areas

Falls -- 246 acres

Marais -- 277 acres

-- 99 acres

State Forests



Aquatic Management Areas

are 41 AMAs entirely or partially within this IBA, totaling more than 13,000


Also within the IBA are forest lands owned and managed by Lake
and St. Louis counties, as well as Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center and
Encampment Forest (a private landowner association). 

The IBA includes an area known as the Manitou Collaborative, a
joint enterprise among the USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy (Upper
Manitou Forest Preserve -- 2,212 acres), MNDNR, Wolf Ridge Environmental
Learning Center, and Lake County, to manage a 100,000 acre forest ecosystem.