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Wildlife Branch

Ecosystem Protection Zone for Alvar

The Manitoba government is proposing to designate an Ecosystem Protection Zone (EPZ) for alvar.

Alvar is a habitat characterized by a thin (usually 10 cm or less) or absent layer of soil over a limestone or dolomite bedrock pavement. Manitoba alvars have variable features, including open perennial grassland, shrub land, savannah, and limestone/dolomite flat-rock substrate dominated by lichens. Confirmed alvars in Manitoba cover 4,342 ha (10,727 acres) and are subject to disruption by exotic plants and development.

The alvar ecosystem is considered extremely rare in Manitoba and has been designated as endangered. To protect this endangered ecosystem, the Manitoba government is proposing a regulation to create an EPZ for alvar. This will allow for the restriction of certain types of activities that may contribute to further degradation of this rare land type on Crown land.

The public comment period is now closed and the department will be reviewing all of the comments that have been received.