IBA Netitishi Point
Southern James Bay, Ontario
Site Summary
ON137 Latitude
51.312° N
80.121° W
0 - 5 m
148.90 km²
salt marshes/brackish marshes, open sea, inlets/coastal features (marine)
Land Use:
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Disturbance, Industrial pollution
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Waterfowl Concentrations, Shorebird Concentrations, Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
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Site Description
This historical IBA was discontinued in 2017 and incorporated into a new, larger site called Pei lay sheesh kow. The text and data describing this historical IBA are retained here for reference.

Netitishi Point is located along the southwestern shore of James Bay, about 35 km east of the town of Moosonee. It is the point of land east of the Moose River, where the south coast of James Bay begins to turn noticeably southward. Associated coastline for about 5 km on either side of the point is also included within the site. To the west of the point, intertidal marshes and shoals extend 2 to 5 km into the bay, while to the east of the point, these marshes narrow to about 1 km in width. These marshes and shoals provide extensive feeding areas for staging waterfowl and shorebirds at low tide. A series of low gravelly beach ridges and supertidal marshes occur along the shoreline, although the extent of these marshes is relatively narrow with shrubby vegetation on the ridges reaching almost to the coast.

Netitishi Point is a major concentration point for waterfowl and shorebirds that are migrating south out of James Bay. Practically all of the birds using the Moose River Estuary and areas farther up the coast funnel by this point on their way to Hannah Bay, or locations farther south. A one-day total of 28,900 Brant was recorded at Netitishi Point during the 1981 fall migration, and over the entire season about 40,000 Brant were recorded. Similarly, a one-day count of 24,100 Brant was recorded in 2012. The 1981 count represented about 35 to 40% of the estimated mid-winter Atlantic coast Brant population during the early 1980s. Recent population estimates indicate that the observed counts represent at least 10% of the North American population passing by Netitishi Point and as much as 7% of the world popultion

In addition to Brant, large numbers of Long-tailed Duck were also recorded at Netitishi Point: as many as 14,800 on a single day, and a season-total of 33,000 (greater than 1% of the estimated North American population). Dunlin also concentrate at this site, with the 1981 study recording a one-day count of 3,000 and a season-total of 8,500 (about 4 % of the estimated central Canadian population). Recent counts in 2011 and 2014 indicate that globally significant concentrations of Hudsonian Godwit also occur at Netitishi Point. Large numbers of other waterfowl were noted in the 1981 survey as well as other subsequent surveys in late fall with peak one-day totals including 750 Mallard, 600 American Black Ducks, 6600 Northern Pintail, and 750 American Wigeon. Loons and other waterbirds also funnel past Netitishi Point, including a one-day count of 555 Red-throated Loons in 2010, greater than 1% of the North American population.

Concentrations of landbirds were also recorded at the point with thousands of songbirds (Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting) and several raptor species being observed during migration. For raptors, one-day totals included: 60 Gyrfalcons, 35 Rough-legged Hawks, and 11 Peregrine Falcons (50 over a two-week period).

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Brant 1981 - 2016 FA 3,500 - 40,000
Hudsonian Godwit 2011 - 2014 FA 840 - 1,200
Little Gull 2011 FA 2 - 3
Long-tailed Duck 1981 - 2012 FA 8,000 - 33,000
Peregrine Falcon 1981 - 2014 FA 10 - 50
Red-throated Loon 2010 FA 555
Waterbirds 1981 FA 40,000
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
As of yet, Netitishi Point has not received any protective status. However, there is little development in the region, and no immediate threat to the site or the wildlife present. The area is used for subsistence hunting and gathering by native people.

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