Stalwart National Wildlife Area
Stalwart National Wildlife Area (NWA) in Saskatchewan is home to many bird, mammal and amphibian species.
Stalwart NWA lies along the west side of Last Mountain Lake, midway between Saskatoon and Regina within the Moist Mixed Grass ecoregion. Consisting of 1,250 hectares of land; over 600 hectares are managed wetland habitat used primarily by marsh birds for breeding and staging. This NWA was designated in 1969 to protect the marshes and adjacent uplands from agricultural encroachment.
Municipal roads divide the wetland complex into three units: north, centre and south. Surrounded by undulating to gently rolling grasslands, 50 nesting islands constructed by Ducks Unlimited Canada are distributed throughout the area. It is an important spring and fall staging area for:
Water levels in the units of the marsh are largely dependent on small streams fed by winter snowmelt in the surrounding watershed. A stream diversion and dam leading to the centre unit provides additional spring runoff water to the marsh.
There is a dam on the outlet of the south unit, which helps increase the duration of water retention over the summer and during years of drought. The uneven shape of the marsh and islands within it results in a high shoreline-to-area ratio.
The large wetlands are dominated by beds of:
Two small and highly saline basins with salt encrusted bottoms support very little vegetation. Sunken areas known as salt flats have plants such as:
- baltic rush
- summer cypress
- wild barley
The uplands consist of grasslands dominated by smooth brome and alfalfa. They were seeded on formerly cultivated lands or have invaded formerly native grasslands.
Over 115 bird species including thousands of ducks and geese have been observed on this NWA. The north and center units are excellent breeding marshes for diving ducks (redheads and canvasbacks) and Canada geese breed commonly throughout the marshes.
Birds that nest within these marshes include:
- marsh wrens
Several sparrow species nest in the grasslands. Birds that use the tree and shrub cover for nesting include:
The most abundant mammals in this area are:
- pocket gophers
- ground squirrels
- meadow voles
Other mammals also use the area such as:
- mule deer
- white-tailed deer
The wetlands also serve as a breeding site for amphibians including:
- tiger salamander
- leopard frog
- boreal chorus frog
Find more information on Stalwart 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 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 Stalwart NWA is not restricted. Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted at access points. Management focuses on water level manipulation to sustain varied wetland habitats for wildlife through natural periods of drought or dry weather. Maintenance of water level control structures is accomplished through cooperative arrangements with Ducks Unlimited Canada. Canadian Wildlife Service manages muskrat and beaver trapping and haying of upland cover.
Although few people use this NWA for bird watching, photography or nature study, it provides opportunities for wildlife-oriented public activities that complement the conservation objectives for the area.
Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Stalwart NWA, include:
- wildlife viewing
- non-commercial berry picking
- non-motorized boating
- 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
- in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Saskatchewan for sport hunting in that province; and
- without the use of toxic shot
- 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 Stalwart NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.
Map of the area
This map shows the area near Stalwart in south-central Saskatchewan and indicating the national wildlife area boundaries. Located to the east of Highway 2 and west of Last Mountain Lake, it covers land as well as both permanent and intermittent bodies of water. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intermittent water, roads and highways are all 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.
|Protected area designation||National Wildlife Area|
|Latitude/longitude||51°15' North / 105°25' West|
|Reason for creation of protected area||To enhance and protect a wetland habitat for waterfowl, insulated from threats of drainage by human activity or drought.|
|Date created (Gazetted)||1969 - Legal Description|
|International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Management Category||Habitat / Species Management Area (IV)|
|Keystone or flagship species||Muskrat|
|Main habitat type||
|Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)||Amphibians:
|Main threats and challenges||
|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 Stalwart NWA, include:
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.
Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Unit
115 Perimeter Road
Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
- Canada Wildlife Act
- Wildlife Area Regulations
- Stalwart NWA management plan
- Stalwart NWA pamphlet
- Stalwart NWA on Google Maps (Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name)
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: