BCR 11 - Prairie Potholes

BCR11 MapThe Prairie Pothole region is a glaciated area of mixed grass prairie in the west grading toward tallgrass prairie in the east. This is the most important waterfowl producing region on the North American continent despite extensive wetland drainage and tillage of native grasslands. Breeding dabbling duck density may exceed 100 pairs/mi2 in some areas during years with favorable wetland conditions. The region comprises the core of the breeding range of most dabbling duck and several diving duck species, as well as providing critical breeding and migration habitat for over 200 other birds including priority species such as Franklin's Gull, Yellow Rail, and Piping Plover. Baird's Sparrow, Sprague's Pipit, Wilson's Phalarope, Marbled Godwit, and American Avocet are among the many priority non-waterfowl species breeding in this region. Wetland areas also provide key spring migration sites for Hudsonian Godwit, American Golden-Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Continued wetland degradation and fragmentation of remaining grasslands threaten future suitability of the prairie pothole region for all of these birds.



ABC-designated Globally Important Bird Areas in this BCR

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

Appam Lake

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Chain of Lakes, McLean County, including the John E. Williams Memorial Preserve

Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge

Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area

Horsehead Lake

J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge (Devil's Lake Wetland Management District)

Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge (Devil's Lake Wetland Management District)

Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge (Long Lake Wetland Management District), including Slade National Wildlife Refuge and Florence Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Sheyenne National Grassland

Sullys Hill National Game Preserve (Devils Lake Wetland Management District)

Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge