Rockwood National Wildlife Area

The Rockwood National Wildlife Area (NWA), in Manitoba, is a significant wildlife area. It supports habitat for a variety of bird species.

Description

Rockwood National Wildlife Area is located 34 kilometers (km) north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The NWA is in a relatively flat parcel of grassland in the aspen parkland zone. It is 31 hectares (ha) in size and contains an artificial wetland bounded on all sides by dykes.

Rockwood NWA landscape

Rockwood NWA was established to:

  • develop migratory bird habitat
  • ease a chronic flooding problem on adjacent private land

Due to intensive land use on adjacent lands, the NWA serves as an oasis for wildlife. Key species include:

  • grassland songbirds (such as bobolink, savannah sparrow)
  • waterfowl (such as Canada geese, mallards)
  • marsh hawks and short-eared owls

Savannah Sparrow. Photo: Simon Pierre Barrette

The land was cultivated prior to establishment of the NWA. It was subject to periodic flooding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) Rockwood Fish Hatchery located on the adjacent land. The hatchery is now privately owned. Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) acquired the land from a private owner. Ducks Unlimited Canada agreed to design, construct and manage the impoundment to use runoff water from adjacent lands.

The major habitat types found at Rockwood NWA are wetland and tame grassland. Water levels are maintained by a ditch and two flap-gate water control structures. Five artificial islands are in the area. There is dense nesting cover in high ground areas that used to be cultivated and sown. Dense nesting cover also provides habitat for many species.

Find more information on Rockwood 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.

Access to Rockwood NWA is not restricted. Activities may be permitted in accordance with the 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 Rockwood 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 Rockwood NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Long description

This map shows an area in southern Manitoba. The boundaries of Rockwood National Wildlife Area area indicated. The protected area is located to the west of 14 Road E, to the east of 12 Road E, to the south of 87 Road N and to the north of 86 Road N. It covers a small body of water and a portion of the land surrounding it. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water and roads are indicated on the map. 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 Rockwood NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation National Wildlife Area
Province/territory Manitoba
Latitude/longitude North 50°15' / West 97°7'
Size 31 ha
Reason for Creation of Protected Area To provide nesting and staging habitat for wildlife.
Date created (Gazetted) 1981 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN) Management Category Habitat/Species Management Area (IV)
Additional designations None
Flagship species Mallard
Main habitat type
  • wetland (56%)
  • tame grassland (44%)
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)
Invasive species Brome grass
Additional links Birds
Main threats and challenges Intensive land use on adjacent lands
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 Rockwood 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

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