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Ewing and Erskine Lakes (AB034)


Ewing and Erskine Lakes (AB034)

Stettler, Alberta

Latitude 52.250°N
Longitude 112.883°W
Altitude 800 - 855m
Area 171.69km²

Site Description

The Ewing and Erskine lakes IBA site is located in the east-central portion of Alberta. The nearest town is Stettler, which is approximately 10 km east of Erskine Lake and 20 km southwest of Ewing Lake. The site also includes some smaller lakes including Grose and Postill lakes, and Shuckburgh Slough. The site is a series of discontinuous wetlands and adjacent parkland and grassland within a largely cultivated landscape. Most of these wetlands have extensive emergent vegetation, mostly bulrushes. Ewing Lake is a terminal wetland, is somewhat alkaline, and has a tendency to dry up even when water levels are high.


During fall migration, Ewing and Erskine lakes are an important site for staging ducks. Both Erskine and Ewing lakes have had over 20,000 ducks each during the 1980s. Ducks Unlimited therefore consider both lakes to be critical moulting and staging wetlands for ducks. Postill Lake is a good breeding area for diving ducks, as it is fairly fresh with bulrush and cattail vegetation. Over 30 pairs of Canada Geese nest on Erskine Lake annually. The area is generally productive for a variety of marsh birds and is also important shorebird staging habitat. Ewing Lake was surveyed for Piping Plover in 1986 but no birds were found.

Conservation Issues

Most of the land surrounding Ewing and Erskine lakes is used for agriculture. Concerns over waterfowl feeding in fields led to the establishment of a Crop Damage Control waterfowl feeding station at West Erskine Lake. Threats to the area include an increase in agriculture, which will reduce the amount of valuable habitat for a variety of bird species. Drought and diversion of the water will also have negative effects on the shoreline habitat and lakes, especially considering Ewing Lake already has a tendency to dry up during periods of drought. At present the area has no protective status.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Number Year Season