IBA Northeast Groswater Bay
Hamilton Inlet, Labrador
Site Summary
LB012 Latitude
54.368° N
57.230° W
0 - 70 m
173.84 km²
open sea, coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Fisheries/aquaculture, Hunting
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Egg-collecting, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Colonial Waterbirds/Seabird Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written
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Site Description
Groswater Bay is located in southcentral Labrador at the northeastern most head of Hamilton Inlet. The town of Rigolet is situated approximately 75km to the west. Along the northeast side of Groswater, a series of offshore islands support a large number of nesting seabirds. These islands include Herring, the Doughboy, Caesar, Puffin, Tinker, North Green and several other smaller islets. In general, these islands are small in size (the largest being 1 km by 0.6 km in size), rocky and highly variable in shape. The topography varies from gently sloping rocky hills to steep cliffs. In areas that contain soil, the vegetative cover is often dense, being composed mainly of heath-type species (crowberry, bakeapple) and tussock grasses.
During surveys completed in 1978, large numbers of nesting colonial seabirds were recorded on these islands. Almost 6% of the estimated North American Atlantic Puffin population was recorded, with as many as 16,900 pairs being located on Herring Island alone. Razorbills were also recorded in significant numbers, with about 1,800 pairs being present (as much as 5% of the estimated North American population). Large numbers of Common Murre (4,300 pairs) were also recorded, with this number being just below 1% of the estimated eastern North American population. Other nesting seabird species included Leachs Storm-petrel (> 10 pairs), Great Black-backed Gull (100 pairs), Herring Gull (present), Thick-billed Murre (220 pairs), and Black Guillemot (present). In all, almost 28,000 pairs of nesting seabirds were estimated on these islands. No more recent surveys have been completed.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Atlantic Puffin 1978 SU 42,900
Razorbill 1978 SU 3,662
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
From June to November, there is a regular freight-shipping route through Groswater Bay into Lake Melville and on to Goose Bay. Associated with such shipping traffic, is the potential for small oil spills and illegal oil discharges. Egg collecting is a traditional activity in this area; it is not known to what extent this activity affects the seabird colonies in this area.

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