Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are lands set aside in Manitoba for “better management, conservation and enhancement of wildlife” under the Wildlife Act. WMAs protect the land in a near-to-natural state to provide much needed habitat for wildlife and to conserve Manitoba’s biodiversity. Manitoba Sustainable Development administers the lands.
Yes, WMAs are yours to enjoy. They exist for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people. WMAs provide an opportunity for a variety of wildlife-related activities – birding, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, trapping and just enjoying the sounds and experiences nature provides.
WMAs are open year-round and some are as popular in winter as they are in other seasons. Several have cross-country ski trails.
Non-hunters, be aware that hunting is permitted in most WMAs. There may be a spring hunt for turkey or bear. Starting at the end of August and into the fall, hunting for waterfowl, upland birds or big game are possible – so wear blaze orange.
No, unlike provincial or federal parks, there are no entrance fees.
Manitoba’s first WMA was established in 1961. It was named after Watson P. Davidson. The land was provided by Davidson’s family to commemorate his love of wildlife. Since then, more than 80 WMAs have been established across the province. They can range in size from 64 hectares to the largest, Churchill, at 848,813 hectares.
Find out more about WMAs in Manitoba.