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 Namesort ascending Status Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global
Turtle River State Park Recognized State
Turtle Mountains Recognized State Bottineau, Rolette
Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global Sargent
Sullys Hill Recognized State Benson
Sheyenne National Grassland Recognized State
Rhame Prairie Recognized State Bowman
Ponderosa Pines Recognized State Slope
Pembina Sandhills Recognized State Pembina
Pembina Gorge Recognized State Cavalier
Oakville/Fairfield Prairies Recognized State Grand Forks
Oak Park, Minot, Ward County Recognized State Ward
Missouri River Recognized State Burleigh, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver
McKenzie Slough Recognized State Burleigh
McHugh Slough / Lake Laretta Recognized State Nelson
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global Burke, Mountrial
Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global
Little Missouri River Recognized State Billings, Dunn, McKenzie
Lake Etta-Dewald Slough-Lake Isabel-Slade National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Kidder
Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge Complex Recognized State Grand Forks


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