A Manitoba regional perspective on wetlands

Thumbnail Image
Oswald, Barry Arnold
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Part one provides a general review of the wetlands topic from a Manitoba regional perspective with regard to wetlands distribution, values, protection efforts, definitions, classification systems and existing inventories. There is qualitative information claiming the developed portion of Manitoba has lost more than 70% of its wetlands due to agriculture but there is no comprehensive inventory information against which to compare for change assessments. Part two provides an inventory of wetland magnitude and distribution by surface watersheds and by land and water cover types throughout the agricultural portion of Manitoba. The inventory is based on a land cover database compiled during the 1980s by the Manitoba Forestry Branch. Groundtruthing was completed to confirm the database's current relevance. The inventory found that on average, 11% of the study area was covered with wetland vegetation. The portion of wetland cover in the 28 watersheds of the study area ranged from 0.5 to 36%. The portion of privately-owned wetlands in the watersheds ranged from 5 to 92%. Wetlands have been almost eliminated in some of the most intensively drained and farmed watersheds. In these areas a more active approach is required if representative wetland environments are to be saved.