WHITEWATER LAKE MANITOBA

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OTHER ELEMENTS OF HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE

Grassland Birds

The steep declines of grassland birds in Canada can be explained by the loss of grassland habitat. Fragmentation of prairie habitats has also led to declines in grassland birds. There is a need to conserve the remaining grassland stands in the Whitewater Lake area. Grasslands in southwestern Manitoba have consistently accounted for a majority of the endangered grassland birds nesting sites in Manitoba. Several grassland birds that are threatened nationally or endangered in Manitoba have been found at Whitewater Lake. These include the: Ferruginous Hawk, Burrowing Owl, Loggerhead Shrike and Baird's Sparrow.

Mixed-grass Prairie

In southwestern Manitoba, significant tracts of Mixed-grass prairie still exist. The Mixed-grass prairie is a blend of the Tall-grass prairie and the Short-grass prairie. Plants of the Mixed-grass prairie are adapted to the climate and moisture conditions. Cool season plants emerge in the spring and lie dormant during the summer while warm season plants have a unique metabolism that allows them to grow during hot summers without losing moisture. It is reported that less than one quarter of the original 24 million hectares of Mixed-grass prairie remains in Canada. Mixed-grass prairie and many of its plants and animals have been and continue to be lost. The introduction of exotic weed species such as Leafy Spurge and Canada Thistle, encroachment by native shrubs and trees, and overgrazing by livestock have led to the degradation of thousands more hectares.

Seaside Heliotrope

Seaside Heliotrope, a rare plant in Manitoba, is localized and abundant at Whitewater Lake. It is a native herb found in southern parts of western Canada. Seaside Heliotrope is a low perennial that tolerates alkaline soils. The plants have fleshy stems, succulent leaves, and white flowers in scorpoid inflorescences. This plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Members of the genus (Heliotropium species) are used in herbal teas and have been used in several parts of the world for medicinal reasons.

Newcomb's Hollow - Boundary Commission Trail

Newcomb's Hollow interpretive site, just south of Whitewater Lake, features one of the longest remnants of the Boundary Commission trail left in existence. The site features native oak savanna with over 50 species of native Mix-grass prairie. Ground Plum, a rare plant, can also be found here. This is also the site of the Turtle Head Creek Riparian Project. Remnants of the Boundary Commission trail can be found near Turtle Head Creek where preserved wagon ruts can be seen. These wagon ruts are believed to be an old buffalo migration route.

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         Whitewater Lake, Manitoba, Canada - Important Bird Area


HOME
IBA PROGRAM
THREATS
OTHER ELEMENTS
CONSERVATION ACHEIVED
EXPLORE
HUNTING
CONTACTS

HISTORY
GOALS
SITE INFORMATION
OWNERSHIP AND LAND USE
BIRD SPECIES
BIRD TOURS
MAPS

Manitoba Department of Conservation
Regional Wildlife Manager
1129 Queens Avenue, Brandon, MB, R7A 1L9
204.726.6450
daniel.chranowski@gov.mb.ca

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