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Sage Creek (AB065)

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Sage Creek (AB065)

Onefour, Alberta

Latitude 49,250°N
Longitude 110,371°O
Altitude 850 - 1 015m
Superficie 3 005,48km²

Description du site

The Sage Creek area is located in the extreme southeastern portion of Alberta, bordering Saskatchewan and Montana. The small communities of Onefour and Wild Horse are encompassed by the site, while Medicine Hat is about 90 km to the north. Two major roads, Highway 41 and Secondary Highway 501, bisect this large area. The Sage Creek site is at the western extremity of part of the largest block of mixed grassland remaining in Canada. Within this large site are: areas of extensive mixed grassland, ephemeral saline wetlands, numerous streams and streamside shrubs, as well as small areas of badland habitats. The site contains important habitat for Mule Deer and Pronghorn Antelope and contains several release sites for the nationally endangered Swift Fox. At least 5 species of plants that are rare in Canada, including Flowering Quillwort, Plains Boisduvalia and Runcinate-leaved Rush-pink, are also found at this site.

Oiseaux

The extensive grasslands of the Sage Creek site are important habitat for numerous species of birds at risk in Canada. The nationally endangered prairie population of the Sage Grouse, whose numbers in Canada are estimated at, at most, about 800 individuals (1997), have several leks in the area. Although surveys have not been done, at least of 1% of the Canadian population is thought to occur here. The whole site is considered the centre of the currently shrinking range of this nationally endangered species. Another nationally endangered species using the site for breeding is the Mountain Plover. Although only found in small numbers as isolated family groups and nesting pairs, these numbers are nationally significant.

Other birds at risk in Canada that nest in the area include: Burrowing Owl (nationally endangered), Long-billed Curlew (nationally vulnerable), Ferruginous Hawk (nationally vulnerable), Spragues Pipit (nationally threatened) and Loggerhead Shrike (nationally threatened). Other uncommon species found in the summer are Sharp-tailed Grouse (several leks), Bobolink and Bairds Sparrow.

Enjeux de conservation

Most of this area is used as rangeland this means that there are two potential problems for birds in the area. Over-grazing in certain areas can degrade habitat used by birds such as Sharp-tailed Grouse, Long-billed Curlew and Spragues Pipit, while reduction of grazing in other areas can potentially reduce the amount of available Mountain Plover habitat. Mountain Plovers require flat, heavily grazed natural grassland, typically less than 8 cm high, and show a preference for grassland used as pasture during the winter prior to the nesting season. A reduction in grazing, and the subsequent invasion of taller non-native vegetation, could potentially eliminate this habitat. Although more than 95% of the lands in the site are leased by the crown (including a small portion of the Dominion Experimental Research Station and the Sage Creek Grazing Reserve) two Natural Areas, Milk River Lake and Buffalo Trail, are proposed for the Sage Creek site.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Pipit de Sprague
Nombre Année Saison
252016Été
302013Automne
552012Automne
242006Été
502004Printemps
271995Été
??Autre
Tétras des armoises
Nombre Année Saison
92016Printemps
132015Hiver
42012Printemps
42010Printemps
122008Hiver
222006Printemps
92004Printemps
82003Été
6 - 212003Printemps
42002Automne
9 - 232002Printemps
13 - 502001Printemps
202000Automne
10 - 322000Printemps
141995Hiver
81995Été
81995Printemps
4 - 51994Printemps
12 - 181993Printemps
9 - 281992Printemps
251991Printemps
Plectrophane à ventre noir
Nombre Année Saison
902006Printemps
1202005Printemps
1002004Été
1002004Printemps
1011995Été
1031993Été
1731992Été
Pluvier montagnard
Nombre Année Saison
12012Printemps
42007Printemps
42006Été
1 - 52006Printemps
1 - 32005Été
12001Été
1 - 22001Printemps
21995Été
Moqueur des armoises
Nombre Année Saison
12016Été
12015Printemps
12012Été
22009Été
22003Été
22002Été
Chevêche des terriers
Nombre Année Saison
232005Été
10 - 142004Été
??Autre