Qaqulluit National Wildlife Area - Pamphlet

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Qaqulluit National Wildlife Area
Photo: Garry Donaldson © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Qaqulluit National Wildlife Area

What makes Qaqulluit NWA so special?

Qaqulluit National Wildlife Area (NWA) was established in 2010 to protect key marine habitat and seabird colonies off the eastern coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. The northeastern tip of Qaqulluit Island (also known as Cape Searle and the only land portion of the NWA) is characterized by two huge rock spires that rise over 430 metres above sea level, surrounded by rugged cliffs. At over 398 square kilometres in size, Qaqulluit NWA is

  • home to Canada’s largest breeding colony (approximately 44 000 pairs) of Northern Fulmars, representing an estimated 22% of the total Canadian population as of 2001 (Qaqulluit is the Inuktitut word for fulmars);
  • an important nesting site and marine feeding area for other seabirds as well, including Black Guillemots, Glaucous Gulls and Iceland Gulls;
  • important habitat for marine mammals such as Walrus and Ringed Seals;
  • designated as Cape Searle Important Bird Area.

Qaqulluit NWA is managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in partnership with the Sululiit Area Co-management Committee of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising more than 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Qaqulluit NWA?

In the Nunavut territory, Nunavut beneficiaries, as per the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, can harvest wildlife for their economic, social and cultural needs. Access to Qaqulluit NWA is restricted except for Nunavut beneficiaries. For all non-beneficiaries, a permit must be obtained to either access or conduct any type of activity in the NWA. More information on access and permitting for Qaqulluit NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
C.P. 1714
Iqaluit (Nunavut) X0A 0H0
1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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