Pope National Wildlife Area

The Pope National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located 106 kilometres northwest of Brandon, Manitoba and is home to a number of species of songbirds, waterbirds and mammals.

Description

This NWA is 29 hectares and located within a prime waterfowl production area containing a wetland reservoir constructed in 1926. Formed behind an earthen dam with a concrete spillway to accommodate excess water flows, the reservoir’s water supply is mainly from nearby runoff. It serves as a salvage waterfowl production area during years of drought.

In 1966, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) secured an easement from the Canadian National Railway to use the area as a water supply source for a series of small projects in the Bars Lake marsh complex. In 1967, portions of the dam and spillway were refurbished. The NWA was created in 1974 when the Government of Canada acquired the area and arranged for DUC to maintain and operate the water control structures.

Pope National Wildlife Area

Pope NWA provides habitat for songbirds and waterbirds including:

  • savannah sparrow
  • song sparrow
  • mallard

There is also the suspected presence of these waterbirds:

  • horned grebe
  • great blue heron
Horned Grebe. Photo: Bradwell Doug Forsyth

Some of the small mammal species found here include:

  • muskrats
  • skunks
  • raccoons

Habitat types within the NWA are mainly wetland and grassland, as well as some cultivated land and woodland. There are factors that limit waterfowl production potential such as:

  • marsh edge
  • water depth
  • poor interspersion of adjacent wetlands

Cattail and roundstem bulrush edge the upstream portion of the reservoir but because of the relatively steep shoreline slope, there is poorly developed plant life on the downstream portion.

Plenty of submerged aquatic vegetation occurs in dense beds within the wetland and the grassland consists of a relatively narrow band of tame grass species around the reservoir. On the downstream channel, there is a mixture of tame and native grass species. The woodland consists of a small tract of mature aspen with an undergrowth of the following species:

Find more information is provided on the Pope NWA in the summary table below.

Management

Under the Canada Wildlife Act, NWAs are protected and managed in accordance with the Wildlife Area Regulations. The primary purpose of NWAs is to protect and conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. For this purpose and according to the legislation, all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife can be prohibited. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all other activities are prohibited in all NWAs. However, some activities may be authorized through Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWA Management and Activities section.

Public use of Pope NWA is not restricted, but there is very little use, mainly because of its small size and limited access. Activities may be permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted at access points.

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Pope NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. non-commercial berry picking
  4. cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating
  5. sport hunting — including with dogs off-leash when hunting migratory game birds — without a commercial guide, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, if the hunting is carried out
    1. in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Manitoba for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot
  6. activities referred to in items 1 to 4 during the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

More information on access and permitting for Pope NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Map of Pope NWA
Long description

This map shows Strachans Slough and the surrounding area in southwestern Manitoba. The borders of Pope National Wildlife Area are indicated. The protected area is located to the east of Pope and it covers Strachans Slough as well as some of the surrounding land. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intermittent water, roads and highways are all indicated. A small inset national map situates the NWA’s location in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries.

Summary table

Summary table of Pope NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation National Wildlife Area
Province/territory Manitoba
Latitude/longitude 50°15' North / 97°10' West
Size 29 ha
Reason for Creation of protected area To provide nesting habitat for migratory birds.
Date created (Gazetted) 198 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Habitat/Species Management Area (IV)
Additional designations None
Flagship species mallard
Main habitat type
  • Wetland (51%)
  • Grassland (22%)
  • Woodland (11%)
  • Cultivated land (17%)
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) horned grebe
Invasive species None recorded
Other species Birds

Mammals:

Main threats and challenges
  • Upland cover is lacking in and around the NWA due to cultivation practices adjacent to the wetlands.
  • Cultivation on-going into the NWA boundaries.
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Pope NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. non-commercial berry picking
  4. cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating
  5. sport hunting — including with dogs off-leash when hunting migratory game birds — without a commercial guide, from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, if the hunting is carried out
    1. in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Manitoba for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot
  6. activities referred to in items 1 to 4 during the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page, any notice posted at the NWA site and the law, the law prevails, as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship Unit
Suite 150, 123 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4W2

Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: enviroinfo@ec.gc.ca

Related links

Page details

Date modified: