IBA Baie de Brador
Blanc-Sablon, Québec
Site Summary
QC063 Latitude
51.399° N
57.209° W
0 - 19 m
24.72 km²
scrub/shrub, native grassland, coastal sand dunes & beaches, open sea, cliffs/rocky shores (inland), rocky flats & barrens
Land Use:
Nature conservation and research
Potential or ongoing Threats:
Fisheries, Hunting, Oil slicks
IBA Criteria: Globally Significant: Congregatory Species, Colonial Waterbirds/Seabird Concentrations
Conservation status: Migratory Bird Sanctuary (federal), Zone d'Intervention Prioritaire - Quebec (Priority Intervention Zone)
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Site Description
This site lies on the north shore of the northeast part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the Belle-Isle Strait. It includes two islands: Perroquets and Greenly, located west and southwest of Blanc-Sablon, respectively. Access to Blanc-Sablon is possible only by airplane or boat. The site includes land, shoreline, and a marine area of 500 m around the Greenly and Perroquets Islands. The limits of the IBA are the same as those of the Baie de Brador Migratory Bird Sanctuary. More than half of the site is covered by sand banks, rocky outcrops and water. The rocky surface of Greenly Island has a thin cover of herbaceous vegetation, while Perroquets Island features sparse herbaceous vegetation and low shrubs. Both islands are of low relief with an elevation of 19 m and 15 m for Greenly and Perroquets, respectively. The open waters in this area are an important feeding site for Blue, Fin and Humpback whales, along with Common Porpoise.
The islands of Greenly and Perroquets hold important alcid colonies. The Atlantic Puffin is the most numerous species, with a globally significant 11,785 breeding pairs present in the last survey (1993). This is about 3% of the North American Atlantic puffin population, and is the largest colony in the province of Quebec. However, the population has been higher, since between the 1920s and 1950s the population was generally over 25,000 pairs. The Razorbill is also present in globally significant numbers, with 954 birds recorded in 1993. This figure represents just over 1% of the North American population. Like the Atlantic Puffin, this species is found in lower numbers than it often was in the past, with up to 3,000 pairs being surveyed in previous decades. The Razorbill has a restricted breeding range in Quebec, making this colony especially important provincially.

Two marine species increasing in numbers in Brador Bay are Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls, with about 150 pairs between them. The Common Murre used to nest at the site, with 2,500 in 1955, but none have bred here since before 1972. In contrast, the Black Guillemot was detected during the last survey, in 1993, for the first time.

IBA Criteria
SpeciesT | A | I Links Date Season Number G C N
Atlantic Puffin 1972 - 2010 SU 7,430 - 23,570
Razorbill 1988 - 2019 SU 800 - 3,000
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
Egg-collecting, poaching and disturbance of the breeding birds are strongly associated with the declines in the size of the bird colonies. The site is a Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) and is inside of the Priority Intervention Zones (ZIP 19) of the Northern Gulf Coast.

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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