IBA Nain Coastline
Nain, Labrador
Site Summary
LB006 Latitude
56.482° N
61.041° W
0 - 75 m
1,428.66 km²
open sea, coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Egg-collecting, Hunting, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species, Nationally Significant: Threatened Species, Waterfowl Concentrations
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written
Restricted access for IBA coordinators
Login name: Password:


View in mobile

Site Description
The town of Nain is located on the northcentral coast of Labrador about 375 km to the northeast of Goose Bay. The coastline to the south of Nain is characterized by hundreds of islands, islets and shoals. Aerial waterfowl surveys have resulted in the identification of one area in particular that supports large numbers of moulting scoters. This area is roughly delineated by the western and northern edges of Paul Island, Humbys Island to the south, and Dog Island to the north.
Large numbers of moulting scoters have been recorded along this stretch coastline and around these offshore islands. In August of 1998, a total of 12,500 scoters was recorded by the Canadian Wildlife Service during aerial surveys (mainly Surf Scoters with a few White-winged Scoters, and Black Scoters also being present). This represents at least 1% of the worlds estimated Surf Scoter population. These birds were mostly concentrated from Sandy Island north to Skull Island.

The islands and inlets within this site also support at least two nationally threatened species. In June of 1994, 20 Harlequin Ducks (nationally endangered) were recorded in what was thought to be a pre-moult flock. Moulting sites for this species have not yet been located along this stretch of coastline; these birds may have remained in the area, or may have moved to other traditional moulting sites. Peregrine Falcons (ssp. anatum downgraded from nationally endangered to nationally threatened) also nest within this area. The Newfoundland Wildlife Division has recorded five breeding territories (four of which were active in 1998). The density of nests within this area is quite high, and may exceed 1% of the estimated anatum population.

In addition to the above-mentioned species, Common Eiders (ssp. borealis) nest on several islands along this stretch of coast. During 1998, the Canadian Wildlife Service recorded 250 nests.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Surf Scoter 1998 SU 12,500
Note: species shown in bold indicate that the maximum number exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (sub-regional, regional or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurrence.
Conservation Issues
Just south of this stretch of coastline, in the vicinity of Voisey Bay, a large nickel deposit was recently discovered. Of particular concern is the proposed shipping route that will be used to transport supplies to the mine and then to ship the ore out to smelters. This route would pass just to the south of the area identified in this site account. Numerous shoals and small islands are present, which create the potential for shipwrecks and possible oil spills.

The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
   © Bird Studies Canada