The Atlantic Coastal Islands IBAs
The Atlantic Coastal Islands, declared surplus by the Canadian Coast Guard, must be transferred and protected as National Wildlife Areas to safeguard globally significant seabird populations and recover species at risk.
The five Atlantic Coastal Islands are small in size but large in importance for Canada’s birds. Machias Seal, a Migratory Bird Sanctuary, supports the most important seabird colony in the Bay of Fundy. St. Paul’s stunted coniferous forests are home to the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush. The rocky Country Island Complex is home to a high population of endangered Roseate Terns. Black-legged Kittiwakes nest on Southwest Wolf Island, and endangered Piping Plovers occasionally breed on Cascumpec Sand Hills. Other birds at risk supported across the islands include Harlequin Ducks, Peregrine and Falcons.
A private sale of these islands could be disastrous for thousands of seabirds. Machias Seal Island has long enjoyed a resident warden to control visitation, generating ecotourism while minimizing bird disturbance and habitat degradation. The uncontrolled access that may follow a private sale would lay waste to this history of protection. Environment Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard have been discussing the properties for years, but have yet to transfer the lands. Nature Canada is encouraging the transfer and promoting the sites’ protection as National Wildlife Areas.
For more information visit these Web sites:
Download more fact sheets about Canada’s IBAs or call 1-800-267-4088 ext. 241 to request one.