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 Statussort descending Priority Counties IBA Criteria
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
Edward M. Brigham III Alkali Lake Sanctuary Recognized State
Frederick L Wicks Prairie/ Bloom WPA Management area Recognized State
Ponderosa Pines Recognized State Slope
Rhame Prairie Recognized State Bowman
Arrowwood NWR Recognized State
Lake Etta-Dewald Slough-Lake Isabel-Slade National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Kidder
Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global Sargent
McKenzie Slough Recognized State Burleigh
Turtle River State Park Recognized State
Pembina Sandhills Recognized State Pembina
Icelandic State Park/Gunlogson Nature Preserve Recognized State
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State McLean
Fort Ransom State Park Recognized State Ransom

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