Marshy Point is located on the eastern shores of Lake Manitoba and is situated just southwest of Lundar and northwest of Oak Point. The terrain in this area is extremely flat, with Marshy Point being a maze of marshes and freshwater lakes that are connected by canals and extensive grassland meadows. There is a rich diversity of habitats in the area, since in addition to the marshes and open water habitats, the land to the east is an extensive expanse of prairie grassland that leads to aspen parkland.
Marshy Point supports significant congregations of the Tall Grass Prairie population of Canada Geese, during fall migration. In excess of 50,000 geese, representing four subspecies of the Canada Goose (Tall Grass Prairie, Short Grass Prairie, Eastern Prairie and Giant), have been recorded at this site during the 1980s and 1990s. Although no firm numbers exist, it is believed that similar numbers of ducks pass through this site during the fall migration as well.
Other birds found at this site in significant numbers include Western Grebe and Black-crowned Night-Heron. A total of 2,400 Western Grebe nests were recorded at this site in 1979, representing approximately 2% of the estimated Canadian population of this species. Similarly, as many as 250 Black-crowned Night-Heron nests were recorded here during the same year, representing about 5% of the estimated Canadian population. It should be noted, however, that more recent surveys have not been conducted and the numbers of both these species could be lower. Other species nesting at this site include Great Blue Heron (20 nests), Franklin's Gull (100 nests), Marbled Godwit and Short-eared Owl (nationally vulnerable).
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The majority of this site is privately owned by East Meadows Ranch. A Goose refuge covers 15,110 hectares of the Marshy Point wetlands and surrounding upland, including much of this private land. Most of the Canada Geese that migrate through the entire IBA stop to feed on grains and corn that have been provided by the private owners of East Meadows Ranch. Additionally, the ranch has supported management in its wetlands by providing a paid manager for over 30 years. In addition to the lands at the ranch, over 975 ha are protected within the Marshy Point Wildlife Management Area.
A concern at this site is the ongoing stabilization of Lake Manitoba, which leads to a less dynamic system and in turn long-term declines in marsh productivity. In the short term, high winds can occasionally produce tides that flood low-lying birds nests.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Marshy Point. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023.