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Balabas Island (MB099)


Balabas Island (MB099)

Salt Point, Manitoba

Latitude 52.821°N
Longitude 100.753°W
Altitude 253m
Area 4.43km²

Site Description

Balabas Island is located in Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba. Salt Point is west of Balabas Island and Dawson Bay Indian Reserve is eastward, on the shore of Lake Winnipegosis. Lake Winnipegosis is a large (5,403 km²), shallow (max. depth ~50 m), freshwater lake with many islands. Deciduous and coniferous forests border the lake, with expanses of freshwater marsh found throughout the lakeshore. Balabas Island is one of the larger islands in this part of Lake Winnipegosis and is heavily forested. Some of these trees are dying, presumably as a result of the large cormorant colony (and its associated feces).


Globally significant numbers of Double-crested Cormorants nest on Balabas Island. In June, 1999, a survey of Lake Winnipegosis islands recorded an estimated 8,000 cormorant nests on Balabas Island. This is more than 2% of this species global population.

Other species found breeding on the island in 1999 include Great Blue Heron (15 nests), Black-crowned Night-Heron (9 nests), Herring Gull (9 nests), Mallard (100 nests), Gadwall (50 nests), Blue-winged Teal (15 nests) and Red-breasted Merganser (25 nests).

Conservation Issues

Colonial waterbirds nesting in Lake Winnipegosis face several problems. Some residents whose livelihood depends on fishing feel that the birds are eating too many fish. As a result, birds are sometimes shot, or nests are destroyed.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Double-crested Cormorant
Number Year Season