Raven Island National Wildlife Area

Raven Island National Wildlife Area (NWA), in Saskatchewan, is an important area for waterfowl and other birds.


Raven Island National Wildlife Area (NWA) lies in the Aspen Parkland Eco-region in the southern part of Lenore Lake and the Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary. It is around 140 kilometres (km) northeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The lake is primarily an open water body with emergent aquatic vegetation limited to protected bays. It depends on runoff from many small creek channels in the area. The lake is subject to severe water level fluctuations. Low-lying grasslands and mudflats provide uncommon habitat that is ideal for nesting birds.

Raven Island National Wildlife Area

The NWA is joined to the mainland during periods of drought, when water levels drop in Lenore Lake. Trembling aspen and willow grow along the west side. Patches of rose and snowberry are scattered around the perimeter of the island. Half the island was previously cultivated land, but has been re-seeded to dense nesting cover. Stands of bulrush and some cattail and whitetop are found near the sheltered east shore.

Double-crested cormorant
Double-crested cormorant

Lenore Lake is an important breeding, moulting and staging area for waterfowl. It is also a breeding, feeding or nesting place for:

  • songbirds
  • grebes
  • terns
  • gulls
  • cormorants
  • pelicans
  • great blue herons

Birds that nest on Raven Island during the summer are:

Many other species use it during spring and fall migration.

More information is provided on Raven Island NWA in the summary table below.


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 their 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 activities are prohibited. However, some activities may be authorized through public notice or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWAs Management and Activities section.

Access to Raven NWA is restricted. Activities, however, may be permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWAs management plan. Public notices listing the authorized activities are posted at access points.

To protect nesting birds, these are prohibited:

  • public access onto the island portion of the NWA
  • hunting
  • swimming
  • camping
  • use of on-road or off-road vehicles

Wildlife observation from boats or the adjacent mainland is encouraged. The only allowances possible are for emergencies. This includes boaters experiencing mechanical difficulties and dangerous weather conditions.

More information on access and permitting for Raven NWA can be obtained by contacting the ECCC regional office.

Map of the area

Map of Raven Island NWA
  • Long description

    Map showing Lenore Lake and the surrounding area in central Saskatchewan. The boundaries of Raven Island NWA and Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary are shown. Both protected areas are located west of Highway 368. The bird sanctuary covers the entirety of Lenore Lake including Raven Island. The wildlife area covers the majority of Raven Island and a small portion of the surrounding water. The scale on the map is in km. Permanent water, intermittent water, roads and highways are indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

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

Summary table

Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 52°30' North / 105°00' West
Size 112 ha
Reason for creation of protected area To improve the value of Lenore Lake as a Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Date created (Gazetted) 1982 - Legal Description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Habitat / Species Management Area (IV)
Additional designations
Main habitat type
  • Wetland (30 %)
  • Woodland (40 %)
  • Grassland (30% %)
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None recorded
Invasive species
  • smooth brome
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • sweet clover
  • quack grass
  • alfalfa
Additional species


Main threats and challenges
  • Drainage of wetlands within the watershed can increase spring flooding. This reduces the island size and availability of shoreline habitat.
  • Alien invasive species have changed the structure of grasslands on the island. This reduces the suitability for some nesting birds.
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage
  • Access for hunting is prohibited
  • Primary usage is for bird-watching and wildlife photography

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page and any notice posted at the NWA site, the notice 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
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 0X4

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

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