Lake Alma, Saskatchewan
Sandoff Lake is located in southern Saskatchewan, about 7 km southeast of Lake Alma and 10 km north of the Montana border. It is located on the edge of the Missouri Coteau and is a small saline basin with an irregularly shaped shoreline. Within the lake, several small islands increase the amount of shoreline habitat. The surrounding landscape consists of rolling hills that are mainly used for crop production. The climate is semi-arid and the creeks that drain into the lake are all intermittent.
Sandoff Lake supports a significant population of nesting Piping Plovers (identified as a globally vulnerable and nationally endangered species). During the 1991 International Piping Plover Census a total of 25 birds was recorded (8 pairs, plus 9 singles), and during the 1996 Census a total of 28 birds was recorded (6 pairs plus 16 singles). Both of these estimates represent well over 1% of the estimated Canadian prairie population. Some years, depending on water levels, few Piping Plovers are present; the average number recorded during five surveys over a 7- year period (1990 1996) was 14 birds.
During the 1996 International Piping Plover Census, 1,687 plovers were recorded in the Canadian Prairies and 3,803 additional plovers were recorded throughout the rest of North America. Between 1991 and 1996 the Canadian Prairie population increased by a total of 250 Piping Plovers.
The eastern two-thirds of the north shore of Sandoff Lake is designated as critical Piping Plover habitat under Saskatchewans Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. Critical Piping Plover habitat is defined as a site that is used by one or more pairs of Piping Plovers and is likely to be reused in subsequent years. The Act protects the shoreline to the high water mark from development.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
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