Vast expanses of intact, representative ecosystems in Manitoba provide clean air and clean water. These wild lands provide clean air and clean water. Unfortunately, many of these remaining natural areas are under direct threat from development, while water and air pollution threaten them from a distance. The Wilderness Committee has targeted five places – conservation hotspots – where preservation will make a huge difference for important plants, animals and ecosystems.
From the Saskatchewan River Delta, one of the planet’s largest freshwater deltas and bird migratory stops, to Chitek Lake Park Reserve, the only place in Manitoba where five species of ungulates exist – wood bison, woodland caribou, moose, elk and white-tailed deer – these hotspots are unique. A rare treat of clear river water flowing through southern Manitoba can be found in the Whitemouth River Area, while the Fish Lake area hosts a unique plant community in its rich chalky peatlands. Finally, Gardenton and Pansy public pastures in southern Manitoba are home to tallgrass prairie patches, one of the most endangered ecosystems in Canada with less than 1% remaining.
These special conservation hotspots are at risk from a variety of manmade threats including hydroelectric damming disrupting water flows, encroaching agricultural development, logging and mining. It is a sad fact that commercial interests have a large influence on protection decisions on lands in this province. The government needs to give us a timeline and a goal for the amount of fully protected area in this province, as well as the resources and political will to reach that goal.
We need action now! Protecting the areas listed in this paper will increase our protected areas by almost 1%, a modest but significant goal. Help us ensure our rich natural heritage is preserved by voicing your opinion to the government, asking that biodiversity and ecosystem services are protected in these conservation hotspots.
Google Map of Manitoba Conservation Hotspots
View Manitoba Conservation Hotspots in a larger map
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