Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan
Lavalleé Lake is located in central Saskatchewan within the northwest corner of Prince Albert National Park. It is large and shallow, being about 2,800 ha in area. Heron Island is located in the northern basin of the lake. It contains a large colony of nesting American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants. The western portion of the Island is partially vegetated with stinging nettles and other herbaceous species, while the eastern portion is mostly forested. The forests on the island are dominated by mature white spruce, with a thick understory of raspberry, willow, balsam fir and nettle. The spruce trees, however, are dying back rapidly due to the heavy use by pelicans and cormorants. The surrounding landscape is characterized by undulating and hummocky till plains with large areas of organic deposits.
Heron Island, within Lake Lavalleé, supports one of the largest concentrations of nesting American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants in Saskatchewan. In a 1996 census completed by staff from Prince Albert National Park, a total of more than 15,000 adult American White Pelicans and more than 7,000 adult Double-crested Cormorants were recorded. These populations represent about 9% to 12% of the world's American White Pelican population, and about 1.5% of Canada's Double-crested Cormorant population. Both of these populations have been growing consistently since they were first reported in the 1930s.
In addition to the nesting American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants, a large population of breeding Ring-billed Gulls is also present. Although a census of the gulls has not yet been completed, there are reported to be several thousand nesting pairs.
Lavalleé Lake is located within Prince Albert National Park, where it has been identified as a Zone 1 protected area (highest level of protection within the Parks Canada system). At present, park personnel are not aware of any major, immediate threats to the colony. However, disease, over-population of the colony, and aircraft activity are a concern. A long term monitoring program has been established to monitor the population, disease, and mortality status of the colony.Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection