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 1980 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 areas 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:

  • trembling aspen
  • Manitoba maple
  • chokecherry
  • dogwood
  • rose
  • silverberry

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.

The property  has an abandoned railway grade, and is bound 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:

  • Sprague's pipit
  • western meadowlark
  • willet

Find more information on Webb NWA in the summary table below.

American Avocets

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 Webb NWA is not restricted and some activities are permitted. Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted 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.
Some public use at Webb NWA 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.

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Webb NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. non-commercial berry picking
  4. 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 Saskatchewan for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot
  5. activities referred to in items 1 to 3 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 Webb NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Map of Webb NWA
Long description

This map shows an area near Webb in south-west Saskatchewan. The boundaries of Webb National Wildlife Area 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 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.

Summary table

Summary table of Webb NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation National Wildlife Area
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 %).
  • Tame Grassland (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 Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Webb NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. non-commercial berry picking
  4. 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 Saskatchewan for sport hunting in that province; and
    2. without the use of toxic shot
  5. activities referred to in items 1 to 3 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
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 0X4

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

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