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.


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.

More information is provided on Rockwood 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 protection 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 Rockwood NWA is not restricted. Activities may be permitted in accordance with the objectives of the NWA management plan. Public notices listing the authorized activities are posted at the NWA access points. There is very little public use of Rockwood NWA. Public use is associated with the Oak Hammock Marsh Managed Hunting Zone administered by Manitoba Conservation. Recreational uses other than hunting could be considered.

You can contact the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office for more information on access and permitting.

Map of the area

Long description of map

Map showing an area in southern Manitoba. The boundaries of Rockwood NWA 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 km. Permanent water and roads 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

This table provides summary information on the National Wildlife Area for Rockwood
Category Information
Protected Area designation NWA
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


Main threats and challenges Intensive land use on adjacent lands
Management agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Limited public use

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. 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)

Related link

Rockwood NWA on Google Maps (Google maps is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name)

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