IBA Frank Lake (north)
Nampa, Alberta
Site Summary
AB115 Latitude
55.910° N
116.892° W
650 m
113.56 km²
mixed woods (temperate), rivers/streams, freshwater lake, freshwater marsh, bog
Land Use:
Agriculture, Nature conservation and research, Forestry, Hunting, Tourism/recreation
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Dykes/dam/barrages, Deforestation, Filling in of wetlands, Ground water extraction, Hunting, Interactions with native species/disease, Introduced species, Other increased mortality, Urban/industrial development
IBA Criteria: Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status: Buck for Wildlife program (Alberta Conservation Authority), IBA Conservation Plan written/being written
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Site Description
Frank Lake is located about 20 km southeast of the town of Nampa, in northwestern Alberta. The site is accessible by road, but the lake itself is accessed on foot. It is a small, isolated lake surrounded by mixed forests, bogs, and muskeg of Black Spruce and poplar; on the south side are wetlands which drain to a creek via marshlands. The site is in the boreal zone and is mostly flat terrain with hummocky soil. A number of interesting mammals are found in the area including Elk, Moose, Gray Wolf, Lynx, and White-tailed and Mule deer.
The lake area, surrounding wetlands and boreal forest support a diverse group of birds, with over 120 species recorded to date. The area provides excellent nesting habitat and also supports a large number of species during spring and fall migration. Tundra Swans are present in continentally significant numbers. During fall migration, from 1,500 to 2,000 birds can be regularly observed on the lake. This is between 1 and 2% of the western population of Tundra Swans. Another swan, the Trumpeter Swan (Rocky Mountain population), breeds on the lake with one pair present each year.

Numerous other waterfowl use the lake. As many as 4,000 Canada Geese breed and migrate through the area. Surf and White-winged scoters utilize the lake in spring migration, with up to 10 and 200 being recorded, respectively; White-winged Scoters also breed in small numbers. Bufflehead can be seen in good numbers, with up to 1,000 birds present in spring and fall migration (it also breeds). Many passerines also feed alongside the lake during migration. High counts of 50 Yellow-rumped Warblers have been noted during the spring passage.

During the breeding season, two pairs of Common Loons nest on the lake, and breeding Red-necked Grebes are regularly seen in summer (up to 50 birds are seen). Finally, up to 10 Pileated Woodpeckers are permanent residents around the lake.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Tundra Swan 1998 FA 1,500
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
Conservation Issues
Until recently, little or no industrial and human activity had occurred at Frank Lake. At present, however, there are roads associated with oil and gas exploration which may lead to human disturbance and poaching. The forest industry is also interested in tree harvesting, which would also reduce the amount of habitat available to woodland bird species. Private land developments near the area have increased human disturbance and hunting.

On the south and west side of the lake, the Alberta Conservation Authority (ACA) has secured about 240 hectares of Buck for Wildlife land. In addition, the Alberta Fish and Game Association and Alberta Environment are hoping to acquire some additional private land for conservation purposes.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
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