National Wildlife Areas

St. Denis NWA
Photo: Todd Kemper © Environment and Climate Change Canada. St. Denis NWA, Saskatchewan.

There are currently 54 National Wildlife Areas across Canada (some located in regions that include relatively undisturbed ecosystems) containing nationally significant habitats for animals or plants. Environment and Climate Change Canada's National Wildlife Areas protect approximately 1 million hectares of habitat with close to half of that area protecting marine habitat.

According to the Canada Wildlife Act, National Wildlife Areas are created and managed for the purposes of wildlife conservation, research, and interpretation. Environment and Climate Change Canada uses an ecosystem approach to manage and plan for National Wildlife Areas.

Access and Activities

Established through the Wildlife Area Regulations, National Wildlife Areas can only be designated on lands owned by the federal government. Where lands are not federally owned, Environment and Climate Change Canada may enter into an agreement with the landowner to establish and cooperatively manage a wildlife area, which would not be designated under the Regulations. Partnerships can be created with the provinces, Aboriginal groups and private land owners through programs such as the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk and the Habitat Joint Ventures.

The Wildlife Area Regulations identify prohibited and permitted activities in National Wildlife Areas. All National Wildlife Areas are listed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

For more information on the designation and management of National Wildlife Areas, consult the:

For legislation and policies, consult the Reference Documents section.

National Wildlife Areas by province

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Prince Edward Island

NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Blue Quills NWA196897
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield NWA200345,836
Meanook NWA1979214
Spiers Lake NWA198064
British Columbia
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Alaksen NWA1976329
Columbia NWA19781,007
Qualicum NWA197778
Vaseux-Bighorn NWA1979753
Widgeon Valley NWA1978125
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Pope NWA197829
Rockwood NWA198131
New Brunswick
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Cape Jourimain NWA1980662
Portage Island NWA1979349
Portobello Creek NWA19952,154
Shepody NWA19801,069
Tintamarre NWA19771,941
Nova Scotia
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Boot Island NWA1979107
John Lusby Marsh NWA1982432
Chignecto NWA1978552
Sand Pond NWA1977531
Sea Wolf Island NWA198276
Wallace Bay NWA1980698
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Akpait NWA201079,146
Ninginganiq NWA2010336,397
Nirjutiqavvik NWA (Coburg Island)1995178,328
Polar Bear Pass NWA1985263,648
Qaqulluit NWA201039,821
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Big Creek NWA1978776
Eleanor Island NWA19710.78
Long Point NWA19803,465
Mississippi Lake NWA1978277
Mohawk Island NWA19762
Prince Edward Point NWA1980523
Scotch Bonnet Island NWA19790.84
St. Clair NWA1978358
Wellers Bay NWA197874
Wye Marsh NWA197848
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA1980322
Cap Tourmente NWA19782,396
Îles de Contrecoeur NWA1981325
Îles de la Paix NWA1977187
Îles de l'Estuaire NWA1986209
Lac Saint-François NWA19781,521
Pointe-au-Père NWA198624
Pointe de l'Est NWA19781,050
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Bradwell NWA1968123
Last Mountain Lake NWA199410,906
Prairie NWA19772,933
Raven Island NWA1982112
Stalwart NWA19691,250
St. Denis NWA1967361
Tway NWA1971250
Webb NWA1980431
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Nisutlin River Delta NWA19955,483

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