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
John E. Williams Preserve Recognized Global McLean
J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Bottineau, McHenry
Icelandic State Park/Gunlogson Nature Preserve Recognized State
Horsehead Lake Recognized State Kidder
Greater Grand Forks Greenway Recognized State Grand Forks
Grand Forks Prairie Chicken Management Areas Recognized State Grand Forks
Garrison Dam Recognized State McLean, Mercer
Frederick L Wicks Prairie/ Bloom WPA Management area Recognized State
Fort Ransom State Park Recognized State Ransom
Forest River, Orchard Glen, Heritage Hills Recognized State Cass
English Coulee Greenway Grand Forks Recognized State Grand Forks
Edward M. Brigham III Alkali Lake Sanctuary Recognized State
Devils Lake Basin Recognized State Benson, Nelson, Ramsey
Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global
Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global Stutsman
Big Gumbo Recognized State Bowman
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State McLean
Arrowwood NWR Recognized State
Appam Lake Waterfowl Protection Area Recognized State


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