In Alberta, approximately 8.2 million hectares (12.4% of the province as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment and Climate Change Canada maintains 8 protected areas in Alberta, including 4 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 4 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), comprising over 58 thousand hectares of the province's protected lands and waters.
Map of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Protected Areas in Alberta
Long description for the Map
Map showing the number of Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas in Alberta totalling 8 divided among 4 NWAs and 4 MBSs.
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List of Protected Areas in Alberta
The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:
National Wildlife Areas
|NWA Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Blue Quills NWA||1968||97|
|Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield NWA||2003||44,999|
|Spiers Lake NWA||1980||64|
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
|MBS Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Red Deer MBS||1924||129|
|Richardson Lake MBS||1949||10,798|
|Saskatoon Lake MBS||1948||1,150|
Access and Permitting
Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.
In Alberta, access to the CFB Suffield NWA is restricted. CFB Suffield NWA is administered by the Department of National Defence and located within the restricted space of the CFB Suffield.
Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.
A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:
- will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
- is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
- is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.
Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the NWA and MBS. For more isformation on Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas in Alberta, please contact the regional Environment and Climate Change Canada office:Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
9250 – 49th Street NW
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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