IBA Bedeque Bay
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Site Summary
PE011 Latitude
46.348° N
63.878° W
0 - 40 m
361.18 km²
salt marshes/brackish marshes, mud or sand flats (saline), inlets/coastal features (marine)
Land Use:
Agriculture, Nature conservation and research, Fisheries/aquaculture, Hunting, Urban/industrial/transport
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Agricultural pollution/pesticides, Disturbance, Industrial pollution
IBA Criteria: Continentally Significant: Congregatory Species
Conservation status:
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Site Description
Bedeque Bay is located along the south shore of west-central Prince Edward Island. The town of Summerside is located along its landward side at the head of the bay. Included in the site are the Dunk and Wilmot River estuaries that discharge into the northeast arm of the bay, and Salutation Cove, which is located on the eastern side of the bay. The main part of the bay is broad and shallow with the adjacent coastline having marshy shores and mudflats. The coasts are generally ice-free by late March.
Bedeque Bay often contains large numbers of staging Canada Geese during both the spring and fall migration. Over the past six years (1992-97), one-day surveys completed in mid-November have recorded an average of 1,238 Canada Geese. Over the entire season, the number of geese using the site is likely much larger, since turnover in the population occurs over the migration period. It has been estimated that over 3,000 Canada Geese use the site during the spring, and over 2,000 Canada Geese use the site during the fall. These numbers represent over one percent of the estimated Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Goose population. In addition to Canada Geese, relatively large numbers of Atlantic Brant are also occasionally reported at Bedeque Bay during the spring migration: some estimates are as high as 1,000 birds.

During the late summer and early fall, a variety of shorebirds, including Black-bellied Plover, Willet, and Red Knot, make use of the mudflats surrounding the bay.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Black-headed Gull 2018 FA 4
Piping Plover 2018 SP 4
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
Bedeque Bay is adjacent to the second largest urban area on Prince Edward Island. As such, it is subject to a variety of urban related pressures including pollution and changing/intensifying land uses. Increasing levels of disturbance and their affect on the staging geese are also a concern. The marine and inter-tidal areas of the bay are overseen by the federal Fisheries and Oceans department; the land areas surrounding the bay are almost entirely privately owned.

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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