• American White Pelican / Photo by Wascana Centre Authority


Wascana marsh is home to a large number of creatures. Many of these mammals, birds, reptiles and insects go unnoticed, while others garner a lot of attention. The news is quick to report a moose on the loose and many of us have heard of Olga, the western painted turtle that might be the largest painted turtle in North America. Many creatures are missing from our list. We have not mentioned the moths, bees, wasps, dragonflies, ants and beetles that we can find in the marsh. We hope to add them as volunteer time allows. During the WOW festival, Ducks Unlimited, staff will be happy to help you pond dip and identify one of the smallest creatures in the marsh – the mosquito larvae, a very useful skill for those with rain barrels. Interestingly, they are not that easy to find because minnows and dragonfly nymphs find mosquito’s delicious.

Below you will find wildlife lists that number just under 350 species. How many of them have you heard about and how many have you actually seen? Wascana marsh is teaming with life, and each creature has a role to play in the ecosystem. We invite you to take a walk along Wascana’s shores and see how many species you can identify.


(Saskatchewan Environment & Resource Management, Natural Neighbours – Selected Mammals of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center, 2001)

  • Shrew Family: Masked Shrew
  • Bat Family: Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat
  • Raccoon Family: Raccoon
  • Fox and Wolf Family: Red Fox, Coyote
  • Weasel Family: Short-tailed Weasel, Long-tailed Weasel, Least Weasel, Mink, Striped Skunk, Badger
  • Rabbit Family: Snowshoe Hare, Jack Rabbit
  • Squirrel Family: Richardson Ground Squirrel,  Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Least Chipmunk, Grey Squirrel, Fox Squirrel
  • Pocket Gopher Family: Northern Pocket Gopher
  • Beaver Family: Beaver
  • Mouse, Rat and Vole Family: Deer Mouse, White-footed Mouse, Meadow Vole, Red-Backed Vole, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Muskrat
  • Porcupine Family: Porcupine
  • Deer Family: White-tailed Deer, Moose
  • Nymphalidae Family: Mourning Cloak Butterfly, Painted Lady Butterfly, Viceroy Butterfly, Red Admiral Butterfly
  • Pieridae Family: Cabbage White
  • Danaidae Family: Monarch Butterfly
  • Moths, bees, wasps, ants, dragonflies, beetles, aphids, mosquitoes and others.
  • Tiger Salamander
  • Northern Leopard Frog
  • Wood Frog
  • GreyTree Frog
  • Western Chorus Frog
  • Western Painted Turtle – there is currently a population study of this turtle in 2015-2016. For more information, check out the turtle website at the museum. www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/wascanaturtles
  • Snapping Turtle – the last sighting of this was 2011.
  • Plains Garter Snake
  • Northern Pike, Fathead minnow, Stickleback
  • Common White Carp (not native and may become invasive)