MapleCross Block at Lake Ranch
East Shoal Lake, Manitoba
Nature Conservancy of Canada – 2022
Secured with the generous support of the MapleCross Fund, the Lake Ranch project is a breathtaking 2,681 hectares of land along the east side of East Shoal Lake in the Interlake Region that represents the beauty, diversity, and vastness of the incredible landscapes of Manitoba. The preservation of this land provides priceless opportunities for people to connect with the best of Canadian nature.
Lake Ranch contains a continuous block of endangered native tall grass prairie, spanning over approximately one-third of the property. With more than 90% of Manitoba’s prairie grasslands being lost, this project bears great significance from the perspective of biodiversity. A 2021 bird survey documented that Lake Ranch is home to Sprague’s pipit, a small songbird that needs large areas of grassland suitable for breeding sites. These songbirds are a threatened species due to habitat loss and degradation of their breeding and wintering grounds. This property is mostly contained within the North, West and East Shoal Lakes Important Bird Area (IBA), which is considered a globally important site for migratory birds. The 2021 bird survey also documented approximately 170 Western Grebes (COSEWIC status: special concern), as well as approximately 30 various shorebird species.
We are continuing to lose grasslands, including endangered tall-grass prairie habitats such as these, at a rapid pace each year. This significant conservation achievement will not only protect this habitat but allow NCC to maintain the landscape-scale disturbances that are necessary to maintain grassland ecological integrity. Protecting against further loss of tall-grass prairie and providing an opportunity to enhance its viability is key to making a positive environmental impact for future generations.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: The Nature Conservancy of Canada at natureconservancy.ca