IBA Pointe-à-Bouleau
Tracadie, New Brunswick
Site Summary
NB028 Latitude
47.498° N
64.875° W
0 - 5 m
3.66 km²
salt marshes/brackish marshes, tidal rivers/estuaries, coastal sand dunes & beaches
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Industrial pollution, Recreation/tourism
IBA Criteria: Nationally Significant: Threatened Species
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written
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Site Description
Pointe-à-Bouleau is a 3.5 km sandspit that is 500m wide, situated on the eastern shores of northeastern New Brunswick. This barrier beach has two swift flowing channels to the north and south. Low-lying sand dune systems are broken by several major breaches with extensive wash-overs. The 1 km² salt marsh Île au Cheval is also included in this site. The town of Tracadie is located 4 km to the west of the northern tip of Pointe-à-Bouleau.
Pointe-à-Bouleau supports a significant population of the globally vulnerable (nationally endangered) Piping Plover. During the 1996 International Piping Plover census, a total of 14 birds was recorded, which represented about 3.3% of the Atlantic Canada Piping Plover population. For the 11-year period, between 1987 to 1997, an average of 13.4 adult Piping Plovers was found at this site.

In addition to Piping Plovers, hundreds of staging waterfowl and shorebirds are found at Pointe-à-Bouleau. During the fall migration, several hundred Canada Geese and thousands of shorebirds, such as Ruddy Turnstones, White-rumped Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers and others are recorded. Point-à-Bouleau also supports a large concentration of foraging Osprey during the summer.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Piping Plover 1999 - 2017 FA 4 - 8
Piping Plover 2017 SP 5 - 9
Piping Plover 1992 - 2017 SU 4 - 26
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
Pointe-à-Bouleau receives a considerable amount of recreational beach use during the summer months. Nesting Piping Plovers are sensitive to disturbance and such recreational activities can result in nest abandonment and reduced productivity. Furthermore, a newly dredged channel near Pointe-à-Bouleau to promote boating and recreation in the area could result in increased recreation pressures/human disturbance on the sandspit. The Piper Project / Project siffleur and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) / Environment Canada are working closely with the proponent of the project to ensure adequate protection measures are put in place.

The Piper Project / Project siffleur is a special project of the New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists. Its objectives are to protect and educate the public about coastal ecosystems, especially Piping Plover habitat. For twelve years, in consultation with CWS, Project Piper has been completing annual Piping Plover surveys at this site. These surveys have led to the identification of Pointe-à-Bouleau as a Core Site in the New Brunswick Piping Plover Atlas. Core sites are those areas that need to be protected to ensure the continued survival and recovery of Piping Plovers in New Brunswick.

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