St. Clair National Wildlife Area Management Plan

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Executive summary

The St. Clair National Wildlife Area (NWA) lies along the eastern shore of Lake St. Clair, in Ontario. The NWA was established in 1978 and expanded in 1988. It has an area of 352 hectares. Its habitats include wetlands, tallgrass prairie, uplands, and farmland.

The St. Clair NWA is managed for:

  • habitat diversity
  • conservation and restoration of wetland and prairie habitats
  • staging and nesting for waterfowl and marsh birds

The NWA provides habitat for species at risk. Thirty five species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act have been reported at the St. Clair NWA. It was designated a Ramsar Wetland of National Importance in 1985. In 1988, Birdlife International designated eastern Lake St. Clair as an Important Bird Area. Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds migrate through the region each spring and fall.

Though most of the NWA is closed to the public, there is a hiking trail and a wildlife viewing tower. People can also boat and fish recreationally in the Bear Creek Unit. There are exceptions for other activities when authorized by permit. 

NWAs are protected and managed under the Canada Wildlife Act. This management plan pairs with protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights.

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