IBA Pointe aux Rats Musques Heronry
Inkerman, New Brunswick
Site Summary
NB027 Latitude
Longitude
47.673° N
64.795° W
Elevation
Size
0 - 5 m
0.39 km²
Habitats:
salt marshes/brackish marshes, tidal rivers/estuaries, mud or sand flats (saline), bog, inlets/coastal features (marine)
Land Use:
Fisheries/aquaculture
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Extraction industry, Hunting
IBA Criteria: Nationally Significant: Congregatory Species, Wading Bird Concentrations
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written, Landowner Agreement for Wildlife, Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal), Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (potential)
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Site Description
Pointe aux Rats Musqués is located on the east shore of northeast New Brunswick, about 20 km southeast of the town of Caraquet and 20 km northeast of the town of Tracadie. Inkerman is located just 2 km west of Pointe aux Rats Musques. The point is mostly mixed forest that extends from the mainland shore into Baie du Pokemouche. The surrounding system of barrier beaches and dunes, which shield several bays and salt marshes from the Atlantic Ocean, has been identified as a separate IBA for the presence of Piping Plovers.
Birds
Pointe aux Rats Musqués contains a large colony of Black-crowned Night-Herons. The colony is currently estimated to contain about 500 pairs, although 250 and 700 pairs were recorded in different years in the early 1980s. This colony is the largest in Maritime Canada and supports about 8% of estimated Canadian Black-crowned Night-Heron population - most other colonies in New Brunswick contain fewer than forty nests. In addition to Black-crowned Night-Herons, the colony also supports several pairs of Great Blue Herons. American Black Duck breed and stage in good numbers in the nearby marshes.



IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1980 - 1997 SU 1,200 - 1,400
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
In Maritime Canada, Black-crowned Night-Herons are at the northern limit of their range. Although breeding records suggest that these birds have bred in New Brunswick since the late 1800s, they are relative new comers (1977) to Nova Scotia, where it is believed that the species may be expanding its range.

In the past, some hunting in the vicinity has occurred outside the legal hunting season in this area and some Black-crowned Night-Herons have been illegally shot but this has since been stopped by pressure from various sources.

Recently, Pointe aux Rats de Musqués was designated as a Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The heronry is on private land, however, so a Landowner agreement was signed between the Canadian Wildlife Service and the landowner Le Club des naturalistes de la Peninsule acadienne helped in the negotiations.


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