Important Bird Areas

North Dakota

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North Dakota IBA Contact

Marshall Johnson

North Dakota IBAs by Type

IBA Priority Number Acres
Global 7 64,729
State 32 2,197,475
Total 39 2,262,204

The prairie pothole ecosystem of the Dakotas is an astoundingly productive region for breeding waterfowl. It also provides exceptional breeding and migration habitat for over 300 other bird species. It is therefore very exciting to be in the process of launching an Important Bird Areas program in North Dakota. With Audubon North Dakota taking the lead, a Technical Committee is being formulated, with leadership from grassland bird specialists at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. They will adapt general IBA criteria [that include: (1)State-listed endangered or threatened species; (2)Other high priority species such as WatchList species; (3)Representative, rare, and/or unique natural habitats; (4)Areas of high abundance or diversity; and (5)Long-term monitoring/research sites of importance] specifically to North Dakota. In addition, a statewide educational effort specifically on IBAs is currently underway. This is directed to Audubon chapters, regionalized birding clubs, agencies and other non-profit organizations and individuals that will be involved in the site nomination process, once the Technical Committee and criteria are finalized. The IBA sites described below will serve as model sites for this process.

Site Name Status Prioritysort ascending Counties IBA Criteria
Appam Lake Waterfowl Protection Area Recognized State
Horsehead Lake Recognized State Kidder
J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Bottineau, McHenry
Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge Complex Recognized State Grand Forks
Sheyenne National Grassland Recognized State
Sullys Hill Recognized State Benson
Greater Grand Forks Greenway Recognized State Grand Forks
English Coulee Greenway Grand Forks Recognized State Grand Forks
Oakville/Fairfield Prairies Recognized State Grand Forks
Grand Forks Prairie Chicken Management Areas Recognized State Grand Forks
Turtle Mountains Recognized State Bottineau, Rolette
Devils Lake Basin Recognized State Benson, Nelson, Ramsey
Pembina Gorge Recognized State Cavalier
McHugh Slough / Lake Laretta Recognized State Nelson
Forest River, Orchard Glen, Heritage Hills Recognized State Cass
Oak Park, Minot, Ward County Recognized State Ward
Big Gumbo Recognized State Bowman
Garrison Dam Recognized State McLean, Mercer
Little Missouri River Recognized State Billings, Dunn, McKenzie
Missouri River Recognized State Burleigh, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver


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