IBA Canavoy and Adjacent Beaches
Morell, Prince Edward Island
Site Summary
PE015 Latitude
46.443° N
62.747° W
0 - 5 m
36.69 km²
Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats, Sand dunes & beaches, Sea inlets
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research, Fisheries/aquaculture, Not Utilized (Natural Area), Tourism/recreation
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Tourism and recreation areas, Recreational activities, Habitat shifting and alteration, Storms and floods
IBA Criteria: Nationally Significant: Threatened Species
Conservation status: IBA Conservation Plan written/being written, National Park, Provincial Park (including Marine)
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Site Description
Canavoy IBA contains a 12-kilometre stretch of coastline along the eastern, north coast of Prince Edward Island from Savage Harbour to St. Peters Bay. Nearby is the small town of Morell. Most of the shoreline is composed of sand flats and sandy barrier beaches that have washover areas on the landward side, although there are also a few areas of cobble. The tidal range is about three metres. The beaches included within the site are Canavoy, Savage Harbour West, St. Peters Harbour, St. Peters Lake Run and Greenwich Point.
The barrier beaches of the Savage Harbour - St. Peters Bay area provide nesting habitat for the nationally Endangered (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada; COSEWIC) and globally Near Threatened (International Union for Conservation of Nature; IUCN) Piping Plover. During the 2006 International Piping Plover survey, a total of 16 Piping Plovers were observed; 2 at Canavoy, 8 at St. Peters Harbour, 2 at Lake Run, and 4 at Greenwich Point. Together, these beaches supported about 3.5% of the Atlantic Canada population at this time (2006). During the 2011 International Piping Plover survey, a total of 19 Piping Plovers were observed; 4 at Canavoy, 2 at Lakeside, 6 at Lake Run, and 7 at Greenwich Point, which represented about 4.4% of the Atlantic Canada population at this time (2011). In 2012, at total of 13 Piping Plovers were recorded; 4 at Canavoy, 2 at Lakeside, 5 at St. Peters Lake Run, and 2 at Greenwich Point.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Piping Plover 2000 - 2011 FA 4 - 8
Piping Plover 2000 - 2011 SP 4 - 7
Piping Plover 1964 - 2012 SU 4 - 30
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
Greenwich Point, at the eastern end of the site, became part of Prince Edward Island National Park in 1997, and is afforded some protection and management through this land tenure. A small portion of the site is also included within the Crowbush Cove Provincial Park, which is mainly a recreational facility.

Human disturbance is one of the main threats affecting the nesting Piping Plovers at these sites. Beaches that contain ideal nesting sites, are also often those that attract beach-goers, boaters, cottagers and dog-walkers. In recent years, levels of disturbance have been reduced through the use of Piping Plover Guardian Program signs that identify the sensitivities of the nesting Piping Plovers. These signs have been in place at Canavoy since 1993 and at St. Peters Lake Run since 1996. Access to Canavoy and St. Peters Harbour is difficult, which also helps to reduce the number of visitors. A large resort development is proposed for the Crowbush area. If the development proceeds, it is hoped that the cooperation and education of resort visitors will help mitigate the expected increase in beach visitation.

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.
   © Birds Canada