IBA Pokeshaw Rock
Caraquet, New Brunswick
Site Summary
NB005 Latitude
47.787° N
65.252° W
0 - 16 m
4.08 km²
open sea, coastal cliffs/rocky shores (marine)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
IBA Criteria: Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
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Site Description
Pokeshaw Rock is located along the northern coast of New Brunswick, near the outer reaches of Baie des Chaleurs. The town of Caraquet is situated approximately 20 km to the east, and the city of Bathurst is situated about 35 km to the southwest. The Rock is a sea stack that possesses steep, sheer cliffs that rise approximately 16 m from the sea, with the cap being only 30 by 40m in diameter. This long-persisting stack is likely comprised of more resistant rock than that of the nearby (60 m away) shoreline, which has eroded at a faster rate. The tidal range at this site is 2 to 3m. Pokeshaw Rock is found in the southern region of Chaleur Bay. As the French word Chaleur suggests, this region has one of the warmer summer climates in New Brunswick.
In 1986, a total of 1371 pairs of nesting Double-crested Cormorants was recorded on Pokeshaw Rock. This represents about 1.5% of the Atlantic coast population. No recent surveys have been completed. Double-crested Cormorants prefer nest sites that are within commuting range of adequate food resources and safe from terrestrial predators. As a result, isolated islands are favoured as nesting sites, and cormorants will take advantage of both forested and rocky islands. On Pokeshaw Rock, which is devoid of vegetation, the cormorants nest on the rocky ledges and on the flat cap.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
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
Since long ladders and several people are necessary to conduct on-the-ground surveys at this site, only a few accurate counts are available. In general, people working in the fish industry view cormorants negatively, which leads to sporadic raids on the colonies. However, the inaccessibility of this site and its easy viewing from the nearby highway likely limit disturbances to occasional shootings from the mainland. The marine areas surrounding Pokeshaw Rock are overseen by the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ownership of Pokeshaw Rock, however, is unclear.

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