Webb National Wildlife Area

The Webb National Wildlife Area (NWA) is in Saskatchewan. It supports many bird, mammal, and reptile species, including the Sprague's pipit, which is a species at risk.

Description

The Webb NWA lies in the Mixed Grass Eco-region, approximately 28 kilometres (km) west of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. It was created in 1978 along the Trans-Canada Highway to provide a setting for the Prairie Wildlife Interpretive Centre (PWIC). While the Centre closed in 1988, there are great places to connect with nature in ten other National Wildlife Areas located across the country.

After the PWIC closed, the buildings were removed and similar interpretive services began at Grasslands National Park of Canada. The lands at Webb NWA are still maintained as a protected area for the conservation of wildlife.

The variety and arrangement of wetland and upland habitats at Webb NWA represent the natural and modified landscapes of Canada's prairie grasslands. The wetlands consist of:

  • a shallow saline lake
  • Goose Lake
  • associated back-swamp marshes
  • 3 'coulees' which support temporary streams

Streambeds and lowlands leading up to the lake host stands of:

Adjacent uplands on loamy or slightly saline soils support native wheatgrasses and sagebrush. The rocky slopes have more drought-adapted grasses, wild flowers, and cacti.

More than half the property is cultivated and produces annual crops of small grains and oilseeds. This is representative of agricultural practices in the surrounding region. The property also has an abandoned railway grade, and is bounded to the south by the CPR mainline and to the north by the Trans-Canada highway.

Coyote

Many animals have been observed in the NWA, including:

  • 115 bird species
  • 20 mammal species
  • 6 amphibian species

Goose Lake serves as a staging area for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Some of the migratory birds seen here include:

American Avocets

More information is provided on Webb 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 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 Webb NWA is not restricted and some activities are permitted. We post public notices listing the authorized activities at access points. The management of Webb NWA focuses on maintaining the natural habitats through:

  • grazing
  • protecting the shoreline of Goose Lake from all disturbance other than natural flooding
  • restoring the formerly cultivated lands to native-dominant grassland habitats

The property is a demonstration site for various ecological restoration efforts suitable for the region.

For Webb NWA, some public use is allowed through permitting for livestock grazing. This replicates natural disturbance on the native and restored grasslands. Through permit, public access is also allowed for research, extension, and education events proposed and organized by other agencies.

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

Map of the area

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

Map showing an area near Webb in south-west Saskatchewan. The boundaries of Webb NWA are indicated. The protected area is separated into three sections located close together, to the south of Highway 1 and west of Goose Lake. The largest section borders on Highway 1 with the two smaller sections located further south. The scale on the map is in km. Permanent water, intermittent water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

Summary table

This table provides summary information for the Webb NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 50° 12' North / 108° 7' West
Size in ha 431 ha
Reason for Creation of protected area Interpretation of prairie wildlife.
Date created (Gazetted) 1980 - Legal Description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Habitat/Species Management Area (IV)
Additional designations None
Main habitat type
  • Wetland (20 %).
  • Native Grassland (30 %).
  • Cultivated land slated for restoration (50 %).
Listed Specie(s) under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Sprague's pipit
Invasive species
  • smooth brome
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • downy brome
  • sweet clover
  • quack grass
  • alfalfa
Additional links

Birds:

Mammals:

Main threats and challenges
  • Agricultural land uses in the watershed that affect water quantity and quality in the recipient marshes.
  • Noise disturbance from the trans-Canada highway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline.
  • Alien invasive species altering the structure of upland cover may reduce the abundance of some wildlife.
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Access is not prohibited. Primary use is for livestock grazing and educational demonstrations of restoration projects.

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

Related link

Webb 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)

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