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Wildlife Branch


Wildlife Management Areas

Red River Region

Deerwood 262 ha
Northwest of Miami off PTH 23

The two units of this WMA, Deerwood and Miami, provide important habitat for deer and other wildlife.
Both are primarily aspen-oak forest, with significant remnants of mixed-grass prairie. A cooperative project with the Deerwood Soil and Water SD Association involves various SD techniques to improve formerly cultivated fields for use by wildlife.

Grants Lake 395 ha
3km northeast of Meadows

Grants Lake is a major waterfowl staging area, particularly for snow geese. Most of the WMA consists of wetland, but there are several young poplar and willow stands. It also provides habitat for a variety of shorebird species. A cooperative habitat development project was undertaken with Ducks Unlimited Canada involving the excavation of several small ponds and level ditches. Nesting islands were also constructed. The Department of Natural Resources operates a managed hunting program around the perimeter of the WMA, while the lake is a game bird refuge.

Lake Francis 6,782 ha
Southeast end of Lake Manitoba off PR 430 and PR 411

The WMA is a component of the world-famous Delta Heritage Marsh, a major breeding and staging area for waterbirds. It includes wetlands, beach ridge, and tall-grass prairie habitats. The wetlands are used by a great variety of water birds, including western grebes and pelicans, and amphibians, such as leopard frogs. The beach ridge is a breeding area and critical migration stop-over for a wide variety of warblers, which congregate in great numbers during spring and fall. The endangered piping plover occasionally nests on the sandy beach adjacent to the ridge. Hackberry, a rare species of the elm family, grows on the beach ridge, the only other known site in Manitoba being near the Lauder Sandhills. An interpretive facility has been developed along PR 41 1 featuring the tall-grass prairie found in the WMA. Sprague's pipits and other grassland birds can be observed in the area.

Pembina Valley 3,263 ha
The WMA consists of 12 separate units along the Pembina River in the Red River Region and two units in the Western Region. The WMA provides important wildlife cover and contributes to soil SD and erosion control. In this area, many species of birds are at the northern fringe of their ranges such as the indigo bunting, brown thrasher, rufous-sided towhee, orchard oriole, and lark sparrow. The WMA also provides exceptionally good habitat for deer, moose, wild turkeys, grouse, waterfowl and a great variety of other wildlife.

  1. Floral Unit (South end of Swan Lake) includes forage fields, aspen-oak forest along the valley slopes and a managed marsh on the valley floor.
  2. Grassy Lake Unit (Southwest of Somerset) includes Grassy Lake aspen-oak forest along the valley slopes.
  3. LaRiviere Unit (South of LaRiviere) has primarily upland habitat, consisting of aspen-oak forest and some grassland areas. Some riparian habitat is found along a creek flowing into the Pembina River.
  4. Little Pembina Unit (South of Darlingford) features aspen-oak forest along Little Pembina Creek.
  5. Marringhurst Unit (between Rock Lake and Swan Lake) is combination of uplands and river-bottom. Aspen-oak forest and mixed-grass prairie are found along the valley slopes, while a managed marsh unit with associated dense nesting cover was developed on the valley floor adjacent to the river.
  6. Mowbray Unit (North of Mowbray) consists of three parcels with aspen-oak forest and a formerly cultivated area that was reseeded to grasses.
  7. Neelin Unit (South shore of Rock Lake) includes the Pembina valley slope and is well-wooded with mature aspen, oak and birch.
  8. Point Douglas Unit (along the United States border near Windygates) has three parcel of mainly aspen-oak forest.
  9. Riverdale Unit (Northeast of Snowflake) contains riparian woodland and some mixed-grass prairie.
  10. Snowflake Unit (East of Snowflake) is composed of two parcels of riparian habitat along Snowflake Creek.
  11. Stuartville Unit (between Rock Lake and Swan Lake) includes upland areas and valley slopes, dominated by aspen-oak forest.
  12. Wood Bay Unit (north of Pilot Mound) consists of mature aspen-oak forest with a small seasonal wetland.

Portage Sandhills 1,601 ha
11km south of Portage la Prairie on PR 240

This WMA provides habitat for white-tailed deer and grouse. It consists of sand dunes covered by aspen-oak forest and mixed-grass prairie. Vehicle use is restricted to protect this fragile ecosystem.

Rat River 1,054 ha
Southeast of St. Malo

The WMA is primarily a managed marsh unit, but surrounding upland areas support a vigorous aspen forest. The managed marsh cell provides flood protection along the Rat River by impounding spring meltwaters and creates an attractive breeding and staging area for waterfowl. The aspen forest is excellent white-tailed deer and grouse habitat.

Spur Woods 731 ha
6km west of Piney on PR 201T

his WMA was established primarily to protect old growth red pine and eastern white cedar stands. It is within the major breeding and migration corridor for northern forest owls, including the great gray, northern saw-whet, and boreal owls, and provides habitat for deer and grouse. It has several access trails for year-round use, including one which follows the old railway spur line.

St. Malo 179 ha
5km south of St. Malo off PTH 59

This WMA is Manitoba's first cooperative wildlife management area, with the St. Malo and District Wildlife Association playing a lead role in its acquisition and management. Consisting of two parcels, the topography of the area is flat to gently rolling terrain, well covered by aspen-oak forest. It provides habitat for white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse, and is important for neo-tropical birds as well.

329 ha
North of Gardenton on PR 209

The Stuartburn WMA is within the Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, Canada's largest remnant of this endangered ecosystem. The land was donated to the Province by the RM of Stuartburn to preserve wildlife habitat and ensure that it remained in a natural state. The donation was also motivated by an interest in preserving critical habitat for deer and providing opportunities for public hunting.
The WMA is a combination of tall-grass prairie and aspen parkland, with small sedge meadows in several locations. Neo-tropical migrant birds use the area as travel and breeding habitat. White-tailed deer, monarch butterflies, and several species of reptiles and amphibians are common.

Watson P. Davidson 5,922 ha
6km east of Zoda, north side of PTH 12

Manitoba's first WMA (established in 1961) is within the major breeding and migration corridor for northern forest owls, including the great gray, northern saw-whet, and boreal owls. It is primarily aspen forest, but is interspersed with small bogs containing spruce, tamarack, and white cedar. The WMA provides habitat for many neo-tropical migrant bird species, upland game birds, white-tailed deer and the occasional moose.

Wellington 65 ha
Northwest of Morden

This WMA protects riparian habitat along a portion of Shannon Creek. Deer, upland game birds and neotropical migrant birds use this area.