This natural area is internationally recognized for its wetlands and diverse bird populations; more than 270 species of birds have been reported. Beaverhill Lake was designated a RAMSAR site (wetland of international significance) in 1987.
Map of the Area
Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.
1892. Beaver Hills has a long history of conservation as the area was designated as a forest reserve in 1892 in response to devastating fires around Beaverhill Lake. At that time, trees were essential for building and fuel. Part of the reserve was used as grazing land, with as many as 6,000 cattle herded down Highway 16 to the reserve each May and back home again in October [1, adapted].
RAMSAR. Ninety years later, Beaverhill Lake was designated a RAMSAR site (wetland of international significance) in 1987 and is described as follows :
A broad, shallow lake set in a rolling landscape containing many smaller water bodies, or “sloughs”. The vegetation includes emergent shoreline communities, forest, natural and cultivated grassland. An important breeding and staging area for various migratory waterbirds. … Spectacular numbers of birds occur particularly during fall migration, when over 200,000 Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.) gather. Notable concentrations (for the prairie region) of migratory shorebirds also occur.Ramsar site no. 370. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
UNESCO BIOSPHERE. On March 19, 2016, the region surrounding Beaverhill Lake was designated as a biosphere by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is a global recognition of a collective commitment by the communities within the region to celebrate and advance knowledge, culture, nature and economy together .
|Site Name||Beaverhill Lake Heritage Rangeland|
|Site Type||Natural Area|
|Natural Region(s)||Central Parkland|
|O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)||451/99|
|PASite ID (Map Ref #)||585|
|Site # (Parks Website)||436|
|Total Area||17533.57 ha. (43325.45 ac.)|
|Recreation Activities||none noted|
|Operated By||Parks Division|
|Notes and Comments|
The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Government of Alberta – Information & Facilities – Beaverhill Lake Heritage Rangeland Natural Area | Alberta Parks (accessed 2022-01-29).
- History of agriculture in Strathcona County: Early farming (strathcona.ca).
- Beaverhill Lake | Ramsar Sites Information Service (accessed 2022-01-29).
- Beaver Hills Biosphere: Home (accessed 2022-01-29).