Important Bird Areas

Vancouver Lake Lowlands


The Vancouver Lake Lowlands, located nine kilometers downstream of the city of Vancouver in Clark County, lie on a former Columbia River floodplain that is now diked, but includes many ponds and sloughs, and the 1,157-hectare Vancouver Lake. Two county parks, a state wildlife recreation area, and part of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge comprise about 40 percent of the area. The remainder is private agricultural land or port district land, zoned for industrial development.

Ownership Private, port, multiple public

Ornithological Summary

The Vancouver Lake Lowlands are a major wintering area for waterfowl, with as many as 200,000 waterfowl recorded here at one time. In an average year, more than 60,000 geese winter here; the site is particularly important to Dusky Canada Geese. The IBA also supports two Great Blue Heron nesting colonies and two Bald Eagle nests. It is a spring migration staging area for several hundred Sandhill Cranes and a fall migration stop for shorebirds. An island in Vancouver Lake is an important winter roost for gulls.