Current national wildlife areas

There are currently 57 National Wildlife Areas across Canada (some located in regions that include relatively undisturbed ecosystems) containing nationally significant habitats for animals or plants. Environment and Climate Change Canada's National Wildlife Areas protect over 2.1 million hectares of habitat with over three-quarters of that area protecting marine habitat.

According to the Canada Wildlife Act, National Wildlife Areas are created and managed for the purposes of wildlife conservation, research, and interpretation. Environment and Climate Change Canada uses an ecosystem approach to manage and plan for National Wildlife Areas.

St. Denis NWA
Photo: Todd Kemper, St. Denis NWA, Saskatchewan

Access and activities

Established through the Wildlife Area Regulations, National Wildlife Areas can only be designated on lands owned by the federal government. Where lands are not federally owned, Environment and Climate Change Canada may enter into an agreement with the landowner to establish and cooperatively manage a wildlife area, which would not be designated under the Regulations. Partnerships can be created with the provinces, Aboriginal groups and private land owners through programs such as the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk and the Habitat Joint Ventures.

The Wildlife Area Regulations identify prohibited and permitted activities in National Wildlife Areas. All National Wildlife Areas are listed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

For more information on the designation and management of National Wildlife Areas, consult the:

For legislation and policies, consult the reference documents section.

National Wildlife Areas by province

Newfoundland and Labrador

Prince Edward Island


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Blue Quills NWA 1968 97
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield NWA 2003 45,000
Meanook NWA 1979 214
Spiers Lake NWA 1982 64

British Columbia

British Columbia
NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Alaksen NWA 1976 349
Columbia NWA 1978 1,002
Qualicum NWA 1977 78
Scott Island marine NWA 2018 1,157,086
Vaseux-Bighorn NWA 1979 804
Widgeon Valley NWA 1978 125


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Pope NWA 1978 29
Rockwood NWA 1981 31

New Brunswick

New Brunswick
NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Cape Jourimain NWA 1980 654
Portage Island NWA 1979 349
Portobello Creek NWA 1995 3,011
Shepody NWA 1980 1,062
Tintamarre NWA 1977 1,970

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories
NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Edéhzhíe NWA and Dehcho Protected Area 2022 1,421,800

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia
NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Boot Island NWA 1979 107
Chignecto NWA 1978 432
Isle Haute NWA In progress 80
John Lusby Marsh NWA 1982 552
Sand Pond NWA 1977 531
Sea Wolf Island NWA 1982 76
Wallace Bay NWA 1980 580.5
Big Glace Bay Lake NWA 2022 392


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Akpait NWA 2010 79,146
Ninginganiq NWA 2010 336,352
Nirjutiqarvik (Coburg Island) NWA 1995 178,328
Polar Bear Pass (Nanuit Itillinga) NWA 1985 263,673
Qaqulluit NWA 2010 39,821


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Big Creek NWA 1978 766
Eleanor Island NWA 1971 0.81
Long Point NWA 1980 3,263
Mississippi Lake NWA 1978 322
Mohawk Island NWA 1978 1.3
Prince Edward Point NWA 1978 546
Scotch Bonnet Island NWA 1979 1
St. Clair NWA 1978 355
Wellers Bay NWA 1978 83
Wye Marsh NWA 1978 47


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA 1980 568,71
Cap Tourmente NWA 1978 2,311
Îles de Contrecoeur NWA 1981 299
Îles de la Paix NWA 1977 129
Îles de l'Estuaire NWA 1986 404
Lake Saint-François NWA 1978 1,317
Pointe-au-Père NWA 1986 22
Pointe de l'Est NWA 1978 724


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Bradwell NWA 1968 123
Last Mountain Lake NWA 1994 10,906
Prairie NWA 1977 2,933
Raven Island NWA 1982 94
Stalwart NWA 1969 1,250
St. Denis NWA 1967 361
Tway NWA 1971 250
Webb NWA 1980 431
Prairie Pastures Conservation Area In progress 80,093


NWA Name Year established Size in hectares
Nisutlin River Delta NWA 1995 5,483
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