IBA Grant's Lake WMA
Meadows, Manitoba
Site Summary
MB039 Latitude
50.053° N
97.532° W
242 - 245 m
15.51 km²
deciduous woods (temperate), scrub/shrub, native grassland, freshwater marsh, arable & cultivated lands
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research, Hunting
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Agricultural pollution/pesticides, Arable farming, Drainage of wetlands
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Waterfowl Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status: Provincial Wildlife Management Area
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Site Description
Located northwest of Winnipeg, Grants Lake Wildlife Management Area is a small, primarily cattail-filled marsh near the towns of Warren, Rosser and Grosse Isle. It has shrunk to a remnant of its former immense status and is now surrounded by intensively cultivated farmland. Several young poplar and willow stands dot the area. Ducks Unlimited has manipulated the marsh through the placement of level ditches, a well established method of creating diversity within otherwise homogenous sites, and the blasting of potholes.
Historically, this has been a famous wetland for geese, and, to a lesser extent, for ducks. Despite the habitat changes of the past, it is still not uncommon for there to be about 100,000 each of Canada Geese and Snow Geese, utilizing the wetland and adjacent cultivated fields during the fall migration. The Canada Goose numbers are comprised of as many as four subspecies: Short Grass Prairie, Tall Grass Prairie, Eastern Prairie and Giant. The Snow Goose numbers represent perhaps a third of the Mid Continent Snow Goose population. Mallards are one of the most common duck present in the fall.

High breeding densities of Red-winged Blackbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and Marsh Wrens have been observed at Grants Lake, but there have not been any studies that have determined the precise numbers of these species here.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Canada Goose 1995 FA 100,000
Snow Goose 1995 FA 100,000
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
Conservation Issues
The rich, flat land surrounding the marsh and lake is intensively used for growing cereal grain crops and canola. The reversion of this highly productive land to natural wetland is thus unlikely, even though a return to higher water levels would lead a greater diversity of waterbirds. Also, the nearby use of herbicides and pesticides means that these pollutants may be entering, and negatively affecting, the wetland.

The lake core of this Wildlife Management Area is a Wildlife Management Area, and since 1974 the outer perimeter has been a waterfowl hunting area managed by Manitoba Sustainable Development, where hunting is strictly controlled. Ducks Unlimited has constructed several nesting islands within the Management Area. Part of the control structure built by DU over five decades ago to help restore the marsh is now deteriorating.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
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