Habitat Stewardship in Saskatchewan 2013-14

Final Project Report: Habitat Stewardship in Saskatchewan 2013-14

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of this project is to restore, conserve and enhance existing waterfowl habitat with emphasis
on wetlands, in order to return waterfowl breeding productivity to levels of the 1970s. Breeding habitat
for waterfowl including Northern Pintail, and other grassland nesting shorebirds and landbirds will be
created, enhanced and secured in 12 year agreements through voluntary, cost-shared projects with local
farmers and ranchers. Habitat projects will focus on cropland conversion to perennial forage to provide
upland nesting habitat, and conserve existing breeding wetlands for Northern Pintail and other waterfowl.
Project activities will benefit other non-game birds, including shorebirds, waterbirds, and landbirds. 
Landowners interested in restoring drained wetlands or conservation easements will be referred to Ducks
Unlimited Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Establishing an inventory of existing and drained wetland basins in the Saskatchewan NAWMP Target
Landscapes will enable both calculation of wetland losses, and efficient targeting and direction of proactive
wetland restoration programming.

Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions

As part of a larger project, WHC’s contribution will support 12 year agreements converting 2660 acres of
cropland to native or non-invasive tame forage.  According to Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Waterfowl Productivity
Model, this is estimated to hatch over 6380 dabbler ducklings and 1640 Pintail ducklings over the duration of
the 12 year agreements.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

Restoration of upland habitat provides direct benefits by functioning as nesting habitat for waterfowl (dabblers,
pintail) and shorebirds, and habitat for the entire breeding effort for priority landbirds.  Restoration of upland habitat
provides indirect benefits to waterbirds by retaining and enhancing of wetlands within the restoration.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

Project activities contribute directly to achievement of the Saskatchewan NAWMP Habitat Objectives, as well as
habitat goals for shorebirds, landbirds and waterbirds.  Activities are also consistent with recommendations of local
watershed planning groups concerned with source water protection and wetland retention and restoration, and local
hunting groups concerned with game populations.

Project Location

This project will target the Saskatchewan NAWMP Target Landscapes, with special emphasis on the Lightning East,
Conjuring Creek, Upper Assiniboine, Pheasant Hills, Missouri Coteau South, and Cactus Lake Target Landscapes.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Glen McMaster, Director, Water Quality Services, Water Security
Agency, Saskatchewan.